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.

What do you think?

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