It’s going to a baseball game with a gay guy and his husband. It’s a group of leaders going to a fundraiser for a local fire department at the bar. It’s treating a guy to lunch who you really don’t want to be seen with in public. It’s doing whatever you can, without sinning or falling into temptation, to reach people no one else is reaching.
At Wellspring we will do anything short of sin to reach people for Jesus Christ. We believe Jesus is coming back at any moment. We need to relentlessly reach as many people as possible as quickly as possible. We do not desire to do what other churches are doing. How could we expect different results? We desire to build uncommon relationships in our community in hopes of reaching people no one else is reaching.
I think we have a variety of biblical examples of this. Think through two of them with me:
Think about Rahab. She is the prostitute in the family tree of our Savior. In Joshua 2, the spies hide out in her house. They make a deal. She protects them. Her whole family is saved. Then the nation of Israel includes her into their culture. They take this prostitute, by definition a whore, someone repulsive, someone that by their laws they could have killed, and take her in. She marries, and in her family line is King David, a hero of Israel. Oh and you know what else it means? She is in the family line of our Savior Jesus. A very uncommon relationship had an effect for literally generations to come! I wonder what effect your uncommon relationships will have in future generations?
Read Luke 5:27-32. Seriously. Stop. Get the YouVersion app fired up or cut and paste the reference then google it. Give it a read. Jesus eats with ‘sinners.’ To you and I this is no big deal. In that culture, it's a very big deal. The religious order would never think to associate with these types. Only unholy people hang with unholy people (in their self righteous culture). But Jesus didn't come for the perfect! He came for the imperfect. Such a mission demands hanging with imperfect people. If Jesus was willing to associate with the lowest of society, who are we not too?
Uncommon relationships honor God because all people matter to God. Think about your culture. Who is no one reaching? Where is the church failing to build relationships? GO!
In Romans 12:16 Paul writes, ‘Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.’ This is in a section where Paul applies what love looks like.
Do you consider yourself a loving person? Many do. You know what it takes? It takes associating with people you wouldn't typically think to associate with.
Pause and give it thought. We want to be a church that formulates uncommon relationships. We don't want to be sinful. We want to be wise and careful. But careful will never mean inactive. We will push to build relationships. Why? Because all people matter to God and we have a message to tell people about the love of Jesus Christ. It's a message that is typically (although not always) best received in the context of relationship.
Go. Build uncommon relationships. Act like Jesus. Share His love story.
Written by Pastor Jason Coache, Lead Pastor of Wellspring Church