Proximity Equals Opportunity

Kara Powell | Jul 30, 2010

This week I’m reading Eric Michael’s Bryant’s book, Not Like Me and thoroughly enjoying how authentic and Kingdom-minded Eric is in his approach to life and ministry. I’ve gotten to know Eric a bit over the last few years and it’s always good when the person I’ve met matches the person portrayed in the book.

Eric’s got lots of great stories and ideas, but I was especially struck by one of his subheadings in a chapter: proximity equals opportunity. Eric’s heart for people to experience the real Jesus shines through in this passage:

With the world moving into our neighborhoods, we cannot assume that inviting people to church will change their lives. Too often our churches remain less than impressive, and those we invite initially need a reason to decide to go. Getting involved in someone’s life allows us to share our lives honestly with them in a way that gives hope when they feel hopeless. When a friend sees us going through trials while relying on God and our friendships, they are more likely to seek us out when they are struggling. Proximity allows us opportunity for significant conversations.

Eric’s right—it’s not about convincing or arguing that Jesus is the way. It’s simply experiencing that for ourselves.

Myself too.

Kara Powell

Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary, and Fuller's Chief of Leadership Formation. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara serves as a Youth and Family Strategist for Orange, and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including Growing Young, Growing With, The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum. Kara lives with her husband Dave and their three children, Nathan, Krista, and Jessica, in Southern California.


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