This week is chapter 12 with "Overcoming Outreach Challenges" and "Concluding Thoughts: Let It Shine!" FirstCov'er Melissa Falde, along with her husband Nate, wrap up the final chapter and concluding thoughts, in this summer’s Book & Blog series in “Organic Outreach for Families: Turning Your Home into a Lighthouse.” Each week we read a chapter and hear from various FirstCov’ers. Join us and leave a comment or question below!
“The essence of Christian service is not the specific acts we do as much as it is the right condition of our heart.” Organic Outreach (Pg. 180)
Kevin Harney writes in Chapter 12 that their family has “found that in addition to showing humility in your interactions with others, consistent and humble service is the greatest antidote to the many outreach challenges you will face. This is the way of Jesus.” (Pg. 180)
The way of Jesus is not the way of this world. That’s no big surprise for us as Christians.
Overcoming Challenges and the Condition of our Hearts
In our home we have a book that each of our kids has loved, at one point or another, called, “The Little Blue Truck”. The premise of the story is that there is an old farm pick-up truck, blue in color, who beeps a friendly "hello" to all the farm animals as he is driving by.
Little Blue Truck is a warm and engaging truck that makes friendships along his back-road route. On this particular day, there is a big dump truck in a big hurry, loudly HONKING his way through the countryside.
He claims that he hasn’t “got time to pass the day, with every duck along the way.”
This boisterous dump truck aggressively passes The Little Blue Truck and swerves around a muddy curve in the road, only to end up getting stuck. It seems that none of the farm animals are eager to come to the aid of this greedy machine, even though they may have heard his cries for help.
Leisurely coming up from behind is this Little Blue Truck, who happily attempts to push the dump truck out of the mud. When Little Blue also finds himself stuck in the mud, his tender “beep-beeps” are easily heard by his friends, who come quickly to the aid of this sticky situation.
As you may discover, the heart of Little Blue Truck is humble, kind, and consistent and is appreciated by those around him. But in reality, we all know that it is hard to be humble, kind, and consistent in a world where we are cut off, shut down, overseen, and underappreciated. Hard that is, if you are allowing the world to determine your worth.
When we see ourselves through the eyes of Jesus, we can make our ways like the ways of Jesus.
As Kevin Harney continues on to write,
“Acts of service do not have to be extravagant – they must be from the heart, the genuine overflow of God’s love for others.” (Pg. 180)
Drawing a Line in the Sand
Did you know that Jesus set boundaries in His ministry? We are reminded in this chapter that in love, Jesus said, “No.”
We too, are called to set boundaries in our own lives, in how deeply we immerse ourselves in relationships, as well as staying highly involved in the relationships our children are in. Loving, healthy boundaries set clear standards for outside influences that will inevitably arise.
“Remember to seek guidance in prayer, hold firm to your convictions, but also communicate your disagreements and objections in a way that communicates grace to others.” (Pg. 179)
Concluding Thoughts: Let It Shine!
As you have been reading the book and following along with the blog, we have been discovering that there are obstacles on the path to achieving a home that shines in this dark world. In the final section of this book, we are reminded that,
“There are many reasons to engage in organic outreach, but the most important of all is the eternal impact of the message we share.” (Pg. 183)
Other reasons include:
- Sharing the love and message of Jesus is our calling.
- Reaching the lost allows us to become more like Jesus.
- Being faithful to God is more important than anything.
- Shining God’s light is like no other adventure we will experience.
We are prompted again in the closing sentences, that,
“Organic outreach is not a program or a method… It’s simply a way to live, love, and serve others in the name of Jesus.” (Pg. 185)
Whether you shine your light in your home, in your workplace, or even as you are walking through the grocery store, live the way of Jesus.
Enjoy chapter 12 this week! (Catch other posts in this series here.)