My father in law recently finished his assignment at our home church as Lead Pastor. He and his dad led the church for a half century from a group of families meeting in the basement of a home to one of the largest churches in the nation. Just saying "half century" boggles my mind.
He has said before that "the sum of our life can be boiled down to a few daily habits."
I think one of the most important daily habits we can strive for is to be around others. To focus on our proximity to three important groups. We need to do our best to get around and stick around: God, a community of believers, and those outside the church.
It is proximity to these three groups that will determine the effectiveness of our relationships with them, and our overall quality of life.
Proximity to God - when we get around God, when we walk closely to God, we start to take on His character. Holiness is not the absence of sin, but the Presence of God, because He alone is our holiness. Need more of God's character, grace, joy, purpose in your life? Draw near.
Proximity to a Community of Believers - we were made for gospel community. We need to walk this Christian life with other believers, meeting each other's needs, encouraging each other in the faith and preaching the gospel to each other.
Proximity to those Outside the Church - If we want to be effective in sharing the gospel message with those who haven't put their trust in Jesus yet, we need to spend quality time with them. We need to be around them, and do life together. Ask any room of Christians today how many came to Christ from street witnessers, and you will almost always not get a one. The most common reason any Christian has found Christ is a friend or family member who did life with them, then shared the gospel with them, and was around to help encourage them in their new walk of faith. We need to move away from hit-and-run evangelism and start investing in people without an agenda, allowing them to see the difference Christ makes in our hearts, showing them we are all imperfect and in need of grace, and being led by the Holy Spirit when the time is right to share the gospel.
It's proximity to these three important groups that will be the game changer.
Which group do you need to get closer to today?