tissot-jesus-walks-in-portico-solomon-square

James Tissot, Jesus Walks in the Portico of Solomon, Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription.

DAILY READING

John 7:14–17
Jeremiah 16:14–16

For Younger Missionaries

CONSIDER AS YOU READ

  • Do you realize that you are one of the fishers and hunters God has sent to gather his children? He will not do it without you.
  • A fisher must cast the net broadly. (S)he does not always control what fish swim into it. How does this inform our missionary approach?

WHAT ARE NONMEMBERS INTERESTED IN?

Here’s what these experiences from a broad range of members have taught me. When our invitations to others to investigate the Church emphasize doctrine, or focus on how much the Church can help them, we often do not connect with what prosperous people are looking for. But in many people who are satisfied with their lives, the light of Christ continues to create a deep need inside to help others. We need to help all God’s children find ways to lose their lives for the sake of the Savior. This follows the thoughts and the ways of God.

“First, they asked members to get involved in community organizations so that they would know many more people in their communities. Second, they committed each member to invite someone who was not a member of our church to join with them in serving in the Church.”

Inviting others to help us with our work in the Church helps them feel needed, to realize that we have a lot in common, and to feel the Spirit. When these feelings come, many people then realize that something has been missing from their lives. When we help others to do God’s will, they learn far more about what the Church and the Spirit feels like than they ever could through a conversation or from attending a ward social.

Because of the structure of our church, opportunities to help others are in our faces 24–7. We take these opportunities for granted. But most other people just don’t know where to find such opportunities. They are comfortable with their lives, they live among similarly comfortable people, and they attend churches that don’t provide such opportunities. We don’t realize how fortunate we are.

When my friends have a great experience helping me, I then follow my practice described in the previous chapter: I decouple my friendship with them from my invitation to learn more about the gospel by asking them to promise that they will say no if they’re not interested. If I don’t do that, then they might surmise that I had an ulterior motive in asking for help. I need to be sure that they know that I truly needed and was grateful for their help.

Several years ago I talked about the principles presented in this chapter with Gary Crittenden, the president of the Yorktown New York Stake at that time, and his stake and ward leaders. They concluded that the ward mission plans of each ward in the stake would focus on two things. First, they asked members to get involved in community organizations so that they would know many more people in their communities. Second, they committed each member to invite someone who was not a member of our church to join with them in serving in the Church. This stake covers some of the wealthiest communities in the world, and its baptism totals historically were the lowest of the stakes in the New York North Mission. When the members began to ask people to serve side-by-side with them in the Church, however, the number of people baptized the next year tripled, putting the stake as the top stake in the mission in baptisms—even beyond stakes whose populations were living in circumstances that compelled them to be humble (Clayton M. Christensen, The Power of Everyday Missionaries, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2013, 47-49).

ADDITIONAL MEDIA

Patterns of Light:
The Light of Christ
Part I

FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES


Jesus is my true Light

QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES

  • What can you tell a friend who is afraid of the dark?
  • Do you realize that the Light of Christ can help all people?

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Post Navigation