When I was a kid I remember going with my mom to do Bible studies with people. She would take the projector and the Jewell Miller filmstrips from the church library and study with people. There was a time in the church when one-on-one Bible study was big. I can only speak from experience but it seems our willingness and enthusiasm for studying the Bible with people is dying. I am sure there are exceptions but I am just speaking generally here.We have to get serious about studying with others without swinging the pendulum so far over that we get manipulative and crazy. It sure seems like we have a hard time finding the balance but it can be done.
It may be that we need to regain our love for the lost. Have we lost it? If we love them we will reach out to them without arm twisting, fear/guilt tactics or manipulation. If people see we care they will be more responsive. I believe that is what made Jesus so effective (besides his divinity of course 😉 was that he was approachable and you knew he really cared. Maybe our problem is that we don’t know lost people well enough to care about them or that we have heart issues and just don’t care at all or maybe it is just that we have gotten lulled into thinking everyone is really pretty much the same and it sounds kind of weird to think of good people as lost when we have our own issues. Or maybe we don’t really know the Bible ourselves and so we fear what people may say or questions they may ask so we avoid it entirely.
Whatever the case may be, if we love them we will reach toward them in whatever ways we know how. There will be mess ups along the way but at least we are trying to live out what Christ has called us to do. Remember, he called us to go, not expecting them to come on their own. The problem is we have often gotten the Great Commission backwards and have assumed if we build a building the world will wake up one morning with a burning desire to be there and will flood our buildings with lost people, who will then be reached through a professional minister delivering a 20 minute sermon and the church will have revival. Anyone ever seen that happen?
Some ways may be more comfortable for us than others but we will reach. If we are unwilling to reach why should we expect them to do anything but stand at arm’s length?