Leaders connect with people where they are at, inviting them to share in the passion and vision of the vision of the leader. The sincerity and depth of connection determines the commitment to the shared vision.
Look at this short inspirational video by Werner Joubert (pastor of Shofar Christian Church in Secunda, South Africa) on why and how to create platforms to connect with people.
27 After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And he said to him, “Follow me.” 28 And leaving everything, he rose and followed him. 29 And Levi made him a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them. 30 And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 31 And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
Observations and reflection questions
Context: Especially Jewish tax collectors were despised by the Jewish community who felt betrayed and oppressed by their extortion and disgusted by their notoriously immoral lifestyles.
- Why would it be strange that Jesus would invite a notorious sinner such as Levi saying “follow me”? What did the invitation imply?
- Why would the Pharisees and scribes grumble at Jesus’ attendance of Levi’s feast?
- What do you think was Levi’s motive for holding a feast “with tax collectors and sinners”, shortly after leaving all and following Jesus (in discipleship)?
- Why, in your own words, did Jesus attend the feast? (verses 31-32)
Personal Reflection and Application
Levi was a chief tax collector employed by the Romans to tax his own oppressed people. Therefore, he and his fellow tax collectors were despised and ostracized from his countrymen, cut off from the God of his fathers. Until the Jesus invited him to become his disciple. So the first thing he did was to hold a feast where all his fellow “tax collectors and sinners” can meet Jesus, the Rabi who was not intimidated by their sinful ways, and who would gladly associate and minister to them.
- Do you feel uncomfortable around “sinners”? If yes – why?
- What is the difference before God between yourself and a “sinner” a.k.a. “bad person”? [or what makes a “sinner” bad in the eyes of God, and what makes you good in the eyes of God?]
- Pray that God will remove any form of self-righteousness and judgment from your heart.
- In which way can you set up a platform (such as Matthew’s Feast) to create a space where people can connect with God or God’s people in a non-threatening, sincere way? Discuss this with your accountability partner or mature Christian Friend.
- Pray that God will help you think of practical, non-threatening ways to engage and connect with people around you with the sincerity and love of Christ.
Consider this testimony by Bill Hybels as an example of connecting with people, so that you may share the love of Christ with them.
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