300 touches.

My friend Rich Dixon helps us to think about being helpful.


How can I be helpful?

Last time I offered a question to guide us in the new year. For the next couple of weeks – some thoughts about what helpful might look like.

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When I began following Jesus (early 80’s) people seemed focused on “how many people did you lead to Jesus this week?” I wondered if there was a secret leaderboard.

Now I know Jesus leads people to Himself. He invites us, if we’re willing, to be part of the process of helping people meet Him.

A friend says people rarely accept Jesus the first time they encounter Him. Mostly it’s a process that occurs over time as they see Jesus in different circumstances. So we might think of “300 touches,” 300 different times someone encounters Jesus before they finally decide.

A “touch” is anything I do or say that causes someone else to say, “Oh, so that’s who Jesus is.” It could be a simple daily kindness or a profound act of generosity or service. A nasty social media post might be a “touch.”

The celebration happens at touch#300. That’s the guy who gets on the leaderboard.

But touch#123 may be essential. The entire chain might break at touch#42. If touch#299 fails miserably, touch#300 might never happen.

We’ll never know which of those 300 touches moves someone closer to Jesus, or when a single touch creates a chasm that takes years to bridge.

How can I be helpful?

I can do my best to make sure my “touches” guide people toward Jesus. I can try to represent Him in every interaction. Not for some ulterior motive, because I want credit.

Because He told us the people would know us, one way or the other, by our love. By our service.

Because others know Jesus by our touches.