By Jeff Bachman
Lead Pastor, Harvest Community Church, Olathe, Colorado
Too often in the church we discard the amount of time that we invest into relationships, but I believe that they are truly a vital part of our ministry. From the beginning God said, “It’s not good for man to be alone.” I hope that I can offer some tangible reasons why we should invest a large part of our time into relationships.
1. Relationships meet a need that nothing else can.
Think about the relationships that you have. There is nothing else that can fill that gap. Achievements, recognition and money will not take the place that is left by not engaging in meaningful relationships.
When Jesus was asked, what is the most important commandment? He answered, “Love the Lord your God… and Love people”. I believe this is because we were created for relationships and without them we are missing part of our purpose.
2. Relationships are a place where you can impact lives.
Just think for a moment about your own relationships. It is the relationship that you have invested in that gives you the opportunity to be real. You are able to connect on levels that you would never dream of connecting on with someone who is just an acquaintance. The gospel can be openly shared and received because relationships create an environment of trust where lives can be impacted and changed.
3. Relationships create an area of support and encouragement.
When we invest our time into meaningful relationships it creates opportunities for us to support others and be supported. It creates opportunities for us to encourage and be encouraged. This past year I began a relationship with a young family who was struggling. Their daughter who was eight was diagnosed with brain cancer. Less than a year later I stood in their home ushering this now nine-year-old into the arms of Jesus. I was privileged to have this relationship with the family and was not just a support and encouragement but was encouraged and supported in return. God used this relationship to see three people come to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. Ecclesiastes 4:12 encourages us “that cord of three is not easily broken.”
4. Relationships are truly what matter in our ministry.
If we are just about numbers in the seats, then we have become a country club not a Church. God has called us to grow the church. Even if we are meeting someone for the first time and have the opportunity to share the gospel we still need to understand that Jesus was interested in the relationship. He said in the great commission to, “Go and make disciples.” This means we are not only called to share the gospel but to build relationships with people so that the gospel can continue. Our main example of these types of relationships is the relationship Jesus had with the disciples during his ministry here on earth.
Will you take time this week to invest into the lives that God has placed you in? Will you invest into people so that you can build lasting relationships that impact the lives of those around you? We are called as the church to create environments of meaningful relationships that ultimately can change the world.