Simply Great: Earning the Right

No one cares what I know until they know that I care.  If you want a great relationship, a great company, or a great church, it all begins by earning the right to share.  I once rode a mechanical bull…once and hopefully never again!  The mechanical monstrosity had me on the ground in less than a second.  I pulled my groin muscle so bad I could barely walk for three days.  Without any experience and admittedly little athletic prowess, what made me climb on that beast in the first place?  I was earning the right to share.

Now one of my very best friends, Darren was a high school senior whom I first met at McDonalds.  I was a 22 year old Young Life volunteer.  Young Life is a ministry aimed at sharing Jesus Christ with teens who probably would never darken the doorstep of a church.  Getting to know Darren, I knew he wasn’t connected with a church and that his life was aimed in the opposite direction.  Slowly building a friendship one conversation at a time, Darren eventually invited me to hang out with him and his friends at a country line dance hall.  Here’s my confession, I don’t like country music and I can’t dance.  In no way did I want to go…but I went because I was earning the right to share Jesus.

Earning the right takes time.  It takes authenticity.  It takes effort.  It takes being willing to serve others instead of trying to receive from others.  When crisis hit my friend Darren, he called a friend he knew honestly cared and loved him…me.  And as real friends do, I connect Darren with the best I had…Jesus Christ.  I invited him to Young Life event.  Twenty years later, Darren is one of my very best friends.  He is a leader in his family, his community, and his church.  He trusts Jesus.

No one aims for mediocre.  We desire greatness.  I didn’t marry my wife thinking it would be mediocre…no, I was hoping for something great.  I don’t take a job hoping to just get by…I hope for something great.  The struggle we have is that we are taught that greatness is measured by how many people we stand above.  Jesus turns that upside down, aligning greatness with those we lift up.  Greatness is measured by the willingness to offer my best to those who need the most and may give the least.  What is the first step towards greatness?  It all begins by earning the right to share.

Continuing our message series Simply Great, we take at look at the first steps towards greatness as defined by Jesus.  Servants are always proactive.  They make themselves ready.  They take the first steps.  They give the most effort.  For followers of Jesus Christ, it means going out of our church building to share our faith.  There’s no tricks, no pamphlets, no staged conversations.  Its about going, loving, asking…and then connecting.  Its making new friends and connecting those friends with Jesus.  Its all about earning the right to share.

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