Having a Top 5 is a simple way to identify, pray for, and be intentional with the people in our lives we hope come to know the grace of Jesus.
Thankfully, we aren’t the ones who save. Jesus is. The pressure isn’t on us to transform hearts or to have all the answers. Yet we have a responsibility to take seriously the mission Jesus gave us in Matthew 28:19-20:
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
Here are two simple mistakes to avoid when reaching your Top 5.
TREATING PEOPLE LIKE A PROJECT
We must be careful not to think of the people on our Top 5 as projects.
They aren’t just names on a list.
They are friends, family members, coworkers, and neighbors.
These are people we love – because they are worth loving, regardless of what they believe.
2 Corinthians 5:17-20 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.”
You have been entrusted with a message, not assigned a project.
When our loved ones celebrate, we celebrate! When they grieve, we grieve. When they need support, we serve. We do this because we love the people in our lives and because that’s the kind of people we are.
We love because he first loved us. And we pray that through our relationships, God will speak grace into hearts.
Another mistake to avoid is…
NOT BEING READY TO SHARE YOUR STORY
The passage above from 2 Corinthians says that we’ve been entrusted with a message of reconciliation. At some point you will have an opportunity to talk about Jesus with someone.
What will you say?
You don’t have to know everything about the Bible or have a comprehensive understanding of systematic theology to share the message of Jesus. Although you should be growing in your knowledge of the Bible and understanding of God, you don’t have to have it all worked out before you share the hope that you have in Christ.
1 Peter 3:15 says, “…in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you…”
For starters, all you need to know is why you have hope in Christ.
What has he done in your life?
How have you experienced healing and freedom?
Why have you put your trust in Jesus?
Peter says we should always be prepared to share the hope in us. A little preparation goes a long way. Take a few minutes to write out your story. It could be as simple as looking back at the story from your baptism, or jotting down something God has done in your life recently. Knowing in advance what you want to say will serve you well when the opportunity presents itself.
When it comes to reaching our Top 5, we love the people in our lives like Jesus would, and we rest knowing that he is the one who will transform their heart.