How to Fall in Love with the People You are Trying to Reach for Christ

Thursday is for Discipleship

Four simple principles on how to develop a passion for your neighbors who don’t know Christ:

  1. Even Very Different People Can Become Caring Neighbors

    More specifically, study the missionary heart of God for the world. “There is no situation in your life, in your ministry, no situation in evangelism or personal relationship, where a greater knowledge of God and his ways will not produce power.” Study books like Genesis, Ruth, Jonah, Obadiah, Luke, Acts and passages like the five great commission sections in the four Gospels and Acts. Ask God to break your heart with the need of your neighbors for Him.

    “It is nearly impossible to pray for a person and not begin to actually and truly care for them.” But the trick is to pray specifically, To do that you need to mine a bit around the edges of their lives. Get to know them so that you can take them to the throne of grace in very specific ways.
    “No man or woman falls in love with a person they never spend time with.” They might be infatuated with someone but it takes real proximity and time to fall in love. What is true in romance is also true in friendship. We have to spend time with people to get to know them deeply enough to care for them. Have them over for dinner. Invite them to a ballgame, go and watch their kids play in some sport and sit with them.
    “You cannot and will not love what you won’t and don’t sacrifice for.” When you sacrifice and serve your neighbors who don’t know Christ, your heart, by a mysterious working of the Spirit of God, is enlarged and energized. God will increase your capacity as you extend yourself for them.
Your neighbors need you to love them enough to tell them about Jesus. Ask God to help you work these four simple principles into your life and into the lives of the people you lead. You and your neighborhood will begin to change, God will be glorified, and your neighbors will have the joy of the gospel and your friendship and love. Tomorrow: How to get to know non-Christians.
Revised 4/9/14 and reposted.

7 thoughts on “How to Fall in Love with the People You are Trying to Reach for Christ

  1. I stumbled upon this page and it spark my curiosity. I am what you might label as a “pagan”, because I pray to the mother Goddess. I do however believe in God, and his son Jesus. I don’t know if this page strictly caters to help those without faith or those who have an entirely differently belief system. I respect those of different faiths, and love to learn from them. I feel in my heart that what I believe is right for me, and know that no matter what power may be watching over us will love me as long as I’m a good person. What saddens me is when people of another faith tell people who have entirely different beliefs systems that they’re wrong. You may not agree with them, but I recommend to take a chance to learn from them, and maybe they can learn from you as well.

    It’s amazing what you can actually learn from people when you get to know them. As for me I devote my life to loving my neighbor, and to do my best with being a loving, caring, and respectful individual. It does not make me any less of a person, because I choose to pray to the great mother. I believe that if we were made in his image, and I’m a woman then there must be a Goddess. But these are my beliefs. I respect your beliefs, and hope you respect the beliefs of others and try not to pressure them to change them to yours.
    With much light and love,


    1. mandi,
      I hope you can come back often and see that all people are respected, loved and valued here. At the same time, I hope that the truth and beauty of the gospel announced in Christ becomes more clear and that his light shines upon you.


  2. This whole response theme reflects the history of this post. It was once titled “How to Love Pagans”. I changed the title and this comment thread explains why.

    Brought these over from Facebook discussion:
    Neal Brian Patel likes this.

    Michael Frost commented
    Stop calling them “pagans” would be a good start.
    3 hours ago • Like

    Marty Schoenleber Jr responded:
    Three comments: One, did you read the link or just comment on the headline. Two, I never use the term outside of a blog post. Three, you might want to read the companion post from the day before that is linked to the post.
    2 hours ago • Like

    Joe Zigurski responded
    This is helpful, thanks Marty.
    2 hours ago • Like

    Michael Frost responded back:
    Four, the title is offensive irrespective of the post and its so-called companion piece.
    2 hours ago • Like

    Joe Zigurski responded back
    Hey Dude, people who don’t believe in God are Pagans. Get over it.
    2 hours ago • Like

    Joe Zigurski again
    From the dictionary – pa•gan noun
    1. one of a people or community observing a polytheistic religion, as the ancient Romans and Greeks. Synonyms: polytheist.
    2. a person who is not a Christian, Jew, or Muslim. Synonyms: heathen, gentile; idolator; nonbeliever.
    3. an irreligious or hedonistic person.
    4. a person deemed savage or uncivilized and morally deficient.
    2 hours ago • Like

    Marty added this to Joe’s response:
    Thanks for the definition. In my post, it is the second defnition that I am using.

    Michael Frost again:
    2 hours ago via mobile • Like

    Marty Schoenleber Jr responded again:
    Michael, do you ever not take a negative spin, cast your comment in sarcastic tones, and show respect for anyone’s actual words?
    2 hours ago • Like

    Michael Frost again:
    Sure, Marty, disregard my point that I and many others find the caricaturing of all non-Christians as ‘pagan’ as offensive by dismissing me as negative or sarcastic. My point isn’t showing any disrespect. In fact, I respect you enough to point out how I responded to your link.
    2 hours ago via mobile • Like

    Joe Zigurski again:
    Hi Michael, sorry for butting in to the conversation. It’s just that my daughter-in-law is a pagan and she calls herself a pagan. I also have pagan friends who call themselves pagans, which is why I found Marty’s post relevant. What other word would you prefer to use?
    2 hours ago • Like

    Marty Schoenleber Jr. again:
    Michael, I am not disregarding it. In fact, I will reread the posts and examine whether there is any substance to your perspective. By the way, great talk at Verge this past session. But I do have a concern. Let me take another stab at this:

    1. Do you ever not cast your comments in a sarcastic and superior tone? I’m sure I’m not the first brother to mention the bent and flavor of most of your comments about, well, anything.
    2. Do you ever actually read the posts you comment on with such confidence? I find it hard to believe that someone would be as negative as you appear if they had actually read the posts and the context of the headline.
    3. Do you ever give your fellow bloggers the benefit of the doubt? You do come off often times, despite the sometimes brilliant and helpful perspective you have, as … well, ‘the guy thinks he’s superior to everyone else’s thinking”. Just say’n.
    2 hours ago • Like

    Michael Frost to Joe:
    Joe, there are people who have embraced paganism and we can rightly call them pagans. But for the average non-Christian person one of the ways of loving them or ‘learning to care’ for them is to spend enough time to find out what they do believe. Many non-Christians I know would hear the term ‘pagan’ to mean ‘savage, uncivilised, and morally deficient’ – as your dictionary definition pointed out.
    2 hours ago • Edited • Like

    Michael Frost again:
    Marty, yes, I do read the blogs I comment on. I did read yours. I think the title was unhelpful. That’s what I commented on. I’m not a blogger so I’m not sure why you’re referring to me as a fellow blogger. You might be confusing me with someone else.
    about an hour ago • Like

    Marty Schoenleber Jr. responded:
    Michael, thanks for reading, thanks for commenting, thanks for seeking to make me more helpful, thanks for the dialog, and thanks for responding. Not confusing you with anyone else. I consider these longer threads on Facebook to be a type of blogging. Have a great day brother and may God use you mightily.


  3. Wow, that is soooo cool how you got some comments from Michael Frost!!!! Approval idol much? You’re already approved… need for man to affirm your position. You’re a son of the Creator of the Universe; no need for man’s approval.


    1. Wow! Johnny, tone down your sarcasm and your assumptions that you know another person’s motives (who you have never met!). Michael is just another believer with flaws and strengths. But he is also mightily used of God and should be respected as a brother and not idolized. Neither he nor I would want anyone to place him (or me, or any other human being) on some type of pedestal.


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