Seriously – unlock your cell phone right now and scroll down through your contacts. How many of the people on your contact list, that you regularly converse with, are currently outside the faith? Many of us become so submerged in church culture that we fail to develop and maintain serious relationships with those outside the faith. I have personally been guilty of this in the past and I believe strongly that to do this neglects the true message of the gospel.
Jesus was a regular guest at the homes of the sinners and outcast of society. By building relationships with the very people the religious leaders continually cast out, Jesus was able to share His message of love and grace with many of those He befriended.
As Followers of Christ we are called to engage culture not ignore it. We are called to be Jesus hands and feet to those in need and this almost always starts and ends with relationships.
There is a daunting statistic floating around that claims once an adult (18 or older) makes a commitment to follow Christ the majority of them lose touch with nearly all of their unChrisitan friends within a 2-year period. This is bad news and its something me must change if we hope to truly impact our world for Christ.
Sheltering ourselves from the world only alienates us further from the people God has called us to reach. Some may call this a “slippery slope” but if that’s the case then Jesus did the same thing and I am willing to walk that “slippery slope” if it means I gain the ability to point more people towards Christ through my friendship , example and influence.