Friday, October 5, 2001

Every year with our "On Eagles' Wings" team of young Native Americans is an adventure, no matter what reservation or villages we're going to. But our two summers in Alaska were especially challenging. Our usual mode of operation is to travel by bus to each reservation, and we carry under the bus everything we need for our outreach events, literature distribution, and the care of our team. Not when we went to Alaska. Some of the Native villages there are 400 miles from the nearest road! So, goodbye, bus! Goodbye, carrying everything we need with us! Hello, airplanes! Hello, boats! Hello, shipping everything ahead for each village! Hello, whole new way of doing things!

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A WORD WITH YOU today about "When the Old Way isn't Working."

Sometimes you just can't get where you need to go if you try to do it the way you've always done it. Not just when you're trying to reach remote villages in Alaska - but also when you're trying to reach people in your world for Jesus Christ! If you insist on doing it the way you've always done that, you'll never get to where they are - and they will go on dying spiritually.

There's a wonderful picture of taking risks to save a life in our word for today from the Word of God in Mark 2, beginning in verse 2. Jesus had returned to His home town, and the Bible says, "so many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and He preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four of them ... They could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd." In other words, if they had limited themselves to conventional means, their friend would never get to Jesus, the only One who could fix what was wrong with him. The door - the usual way - just wouldn't work in this situation, but isn't that how you get people in?

You've got people in your personal world - your church has people in your community - who are just like the paralyzed man on that mat. They'll never get to Jesus through conventional means. And if we keep on doing what we've always done, we'll keep on reaching who we've always reached - and leave dying those we've always not been able to reach.

But these four friends set an example for us all. The Bible says, "They made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on." Jesus not only miraculously healed this man's body, but He healed His soul by forgiving His sins. But it took the faith of some people who were willing to use unconventional means to get someone they cared about to Jesus. It still takes those kind of people - especially in a culture that is increasingly post-Christian, where lost people don't ever plan to go to a religious meeting to hear a religious speaker talk on a religious subject in a religious place. Isn't that how we usually try to reach them...and usually miss them?

Spiritual rescue today means thinking outside our traditional Christian box - it means doing what Jesus did and going where the lost people are, not just inviting them to programs at our place. It means using tools and methods and non-religious words that will communicate to the people who need Jesus the most. It will mean leaving our comfort zone. But, then, hasn't rescue always meant that the rescuer leave where it's comfortable? It's what Jesus did to rescue us.

When we realize what's at stake if we our rescue efforts fail, we'll say as those four friends did in Jesus' day - "We'll get them to Jesus - whatever it takes, whatever it costs!"



Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)


We have many helpful and encouraging resources ready to be delivered to your inbox.

Please know we will never share or sell your info.


Back to top