relationships

Cultivating Relationships

By All Means Emphasis

Preschoolers are pros at cultivating relationships. Have you ever watched them on the playground? From about the age of 3 and on up, they love to play with their peers. You can see them learning together as they pick up a leaf and peer at its veining. You can watch their delight as they chase a butterfly or compare snowflakes that have fallen on their gloves. When another child falls, preschoolers will rush to the child to help them up. They don’t discriminate based on age or race or gender or socioeconomic situation. Preschoolers just have a natural love for each other, even when they are meeting for the very first time.

Missionaries become pros at cultivating relationships, too. Wherever they go, that is their missions field. At the coffee shop, they are looking for 1 who looks lost or alone. At the laundry, they look for the single parent who needs a special touch. On campus, they seek out those who may be homesick or lonely. In the park or the athletic field, they connect with families who don’t know the Lord.

Share Your Faith

This month, we are encouraging students and their leaders to get out there and share their faith. But how do you prepare for something like that? How do you even begin to explain Who Jesus is and why He’s so important to you? The first step involves building relationships.

We’re not talking about making friends with ulterior motives here; the ultimate goal is certainly not to trick people into following Christ. When we say “building relationships” we mean just that.

Before we go any further, let’s take a moment to see how Jesus shared Himself with others.

Jesus met people where they were not where they should have been.

Throughout the gospel story, we read about Jesus eating meals with sinners like Zacchaeus and consoling confused religious scholars like Nicodemus. Jesus made a point to find his way into all levels of society, building relationships with people of all walks of life. Finding them wherever they were and valuing them as children of God.

Jesus offered friendship and hospitality with no strings attached.

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