Our goal as a church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ. We do that by loving God and loving others in life-giving ways. Now, for that to happen, each of us must be a life-giver.
What exactly does a life-giver look like? Let me describe it in this way: The opposite of a life-giver is a life-taker. It’s that person you dread to see coming because you know he/she is going to suck the air right of the room (and the life right out of you). It’s Debbie Downer or Negative Nick – someone who is pessimistic, self-absorbed, and seems to have nothing but problems. You leave an encounter with such a person feeling drained & exhausted.
On the other hand, a life-giver is someone you enjoy being around. It’s Positive Patty or Cheerful Charlie – someone who is optimistic, enthusiastic, and seems to bring hope to any situation. After being with this kind of person, you leave feeling energized & inspired.
When you’re around a life-taker who claims to be a Christian, you wonder why anyone would want to follow Jesus. But when you’re with a Christian life-giver, you want what they have.
Can you now see how loving God and loving others in life-giving ways is an effective way of making disciples? It means we stay focused on what Jesus Himself said was most important… the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.
Rather than bashing folks over the head with the Bible or trying to “win” people or “convert” them to our way of thinking, we simply show them what an authentic Christian looks like and let them “catch” what we have.
Our model is the Early Church, the first followers of Jesus. They heard Christ’s commands and received the love and life He brought. Then they went and did likewise and became the first generation of life-givers. You and I can be life-givers, too.