Our mission at One Community is to make Jesus known. I don’t know about you, but I hear that and it seems like a very easy thing to say. As I think about it though, I start to wonder, what exactly does this mean? What does making Jesus known actually look like?
The simple answer is to spread the gospel. Again, this is something that is easy to say… “I want to spread the gospel.” However, what does that look like? Many people answer this by teaching the gospel. They believe that spreading the gospel is to tell people about it. The problem is, the gospel isn’t really just about knowledge. It’s great to share knowledge about Christ and the bible, but that isn’t really the whole of making Jesus known.
Often, we think that doing good deeds is sharing the gospel. This makes a lot of sense. I mean, feeding the hungry and giving love to those who need it is in line with the love of Christ. So, by reaching out and sharing in that love, we allow others to experience the love Christ has for them. Essentially a man who has never known love cannot understand love. So, it is up to us to show them love and to help them experience that love.
This is a much bigger task than just explaining the bible. Unfortunately, it is also bigger than simply handing someone a sandwich. Love is not something you show once then it is forgotten. Love is a permanent connection between two people. Love never fades, even if we lose sight of it sometimes. Love is always there and it binds people together in the journey of life. To this end, sharing the Gospel and making Jesus known is not about a small deed, nor is it about teaching the word. Both of those things are a part of it, but they are not the sum of it.
Making Jesus known is about reaching out and joining others in life. It’s about connections and friendships and love. Making Jesus known is about being there and being a part of someone’s life. It isn’t stepping in for a short time and walking away. It’s about love and love is eternal. Love doesn’t die. Love forgives any transgression. Love helps in any way it can. Love is there so we will never be alone. Love and Christ have a lot in common. So maybe making Christ known begins by making love known.
As I pondered the deeper significance of making Jesus known, I began to realize that the statement might not be as easy to say as I had thought. It takes compassion and a very strong commitment. It takes passion and love. We have to begin to see past people’s faults and to begin to accept them. We have to learn to let go of the pain inside of us when someone betrays us. We have to walk with them, even if they don’t understand why we are. We have to do this, because this is what Jesus did. There is no easy path. There is no cheat. To make Jesus known, we truly have to follow in his example.
This is what One Community is trying to foster. I see the many initiatives and outreaches we have planned for the next year. I see the growth and design that we are focusing on, and I’m beginning to see it. It isn’t about reaching more and more people. It’s about really reaching those we can. It isn’t about filling the sanctuary on Sunday. It’s about filling the hearts of everyone that is in it and everyone they touch.
Though this seems like a lot of work, and it seems like it would be a burden. The truth is, it is joyous and fulfilling. There is no burden nor is there a drain, because when you are actively making Christ known, then you are fulfilled and rejuvenated by the spirit. The mission is started from the church, but it is executed by each and every one of us.