If James Tiberius Kirk and Jean Luc Picard walked into your life, and you were given the mission of witnessing to them, how would you do it? I know it sounds like a strange question, but go with me for a moment. How would you do it?
If you were a fan of this show, you would realize that Kirk was bold, brave, and sometimes brash. He was however a reasonable man. Also, you should know that a young Kirk would respond differently than an older one would.
The man we meet in Generations is not the same man who started his five year mission years ago. His life experience has changed him. Gains and losses have closed and opened his eyes.
The two men are not that different, though you may not realize that, if you’re not a fan. Picard has been described as a wiseman. He is a peacemaker who fights reluctantly, but with tenacity.
The key theme here is simple, know your audience. To reach a man, on a personal level, you must know him. The Lord Jesus ate with sinners. He spent time with them. He didn’t let them change Him, nor did He force them to change. He gave them the opportunity to choose.
He knew that soon, He would go to the Cross, so He wasted no time. His death would open a door for man to have an eternal relationship with Him. So, He started out by having a relationship with them beforehand. There we find our pattern, before we get them to the Cross, we have to have a relationship with them.
To reach anyone, you must first love them. It’s that simple, when you care about people, they see it. They feel it when you have no agenda, just concern for their well being. John Maxwell said it many times, “They won’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
This is why The Lord Jesus approached mankind as a humble child, and then a carpenter, and next a servant. He wanted them first to know He was harmless, second to show them He had something that could better them, and finally that His entire mission was for them. Once they knew Christ as The Servant, they embraced Him as their Savior, and finally followed Him as their Sovereign.
The Lord is Our Shepherd. Even though He is The King Of Kings, The Lord Jesus was born, not to be our Commander, but our Caretaker. We are to follow His example, so let us seek to serve those we wish to reach. No matter who they are, or what their situation, what they need most is a friend like Jesus.