This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. (John 15:12)
The Gospel is beautiful and simple. In fact, most things that are beautiful are simple.
Yet so many church ministry resources and event packages that cross my desk focus on winning souls through a declaration of ultimate truth, through knowledge. These packages urge me, as a ministry leader, to take part in their ministry because this is how we can win souls. “And we must win those souls while they are still young!”
As we transition into this much-discussed post-modern era, many are attempting to fight it with such tools as truth and knowledge. These are important, but as we look at Adam and Eve in the garden, the fruit from the tree of knowledge does not give life. The Gospel begins with man falling away because of knowledge and finishes with his salvation through love.
If we wish to see more people following the Lord, our aim must be love, not solely winning souls.
As a ministry leader, love has become my message and my mission. God created us to love Him and so He could love us. God gave us one another so we can love each other and spur each other on to His love. The more we love Him, the more we truly love each other. The more we love each other, the more we’ll love Him.
And all because He first loved us.
I believe there to be no greater witnessing tool than love and relationships. God is love—God gave us life. If we would only love, our love could lead others to a new life; the new life Christ gives through His love.
I have quickly grown to dislike the term “winning souls.” The idea behind this worn-out and distorted phrase bends the purpose of Christian love into something much less eloquent, much less beautiful.
When we think about spreading the Word of our Father, it is important that we don’t see this just as a game we’re playing against the devil with eternal stakes. When we begin turning people into game pieces, we’re not loving them with the love that was first given to us. That is our job down here: to love. We get so blinded and caught up in the Great Commission, we easily forget that the way to the fulfillment of that commission is love.
Jesus gave us one commission, but two commandments.
Dear Father, thank you for loving me first. Show me how to love others as You love them. Teach me how to always walk and speak in love.