I Care About You!
Thursday, December 7, 2023
“Love extravagantly and without prejudice, and you will lead many to Jesus in your community.” – Os Hillman
One of the most overused phrases in the modern lexicon is “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” It is also one of the most true.
For 35 years, I traveled throughout North America and Africa with various Christian sports teams, sharing the gospel with an estimated 500,000 inmates in more than 400 different correctional institutions. Bringing in a touring all-star team to compete against the best athletes in a 3,000-man facility always drew a crowd, which was the idea. And dangling a second softball game – or a second half of basketball – ensured that the vast majority of the spectators stayed for our halftime (or between games) gospel presentations.
But do you know what was one of the most powerful evangelistic tools we had? The very fact that our players took a week’s vacation and flew across the country to minister to incarcerated men that we had never met. Our players were never paid for making those trips. In fact, they were required to raise anywhere from $500 to $1,000 to help cover the costs of airfare, meals, and lodging.
When these hardened criminals realized that our players cared THAT MUCH… well, let me just say that sharing the gospel was relatively easy because our actions had already spoken louder than our words. As a result of our love-in-action, we saw more than 30,000 inmates make professions of faith in Jesus Christ.
Now, in my mid-60s, I am trying to demonstrate that same love and concern for the at-risk youth who attend our weekly Living H2O Initiative… and the dozens of previously unchurched people who join us for worship each Sunday morning at Midway Bible Fellowship.
It’s not rocket science, my friend. On the contrary, it’s simply following the ministry model laid out for us by Jesus Himself.
“Large crowds came to Him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute, and many others, and laid them at His feet, and He healed them. The crowd was amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled restored, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they glorified the God of Israel.” Matthew 15:3-31 (BSB)
- Rev. Dale M. Glading, President