Frank Laubach (1884-1970), a missionary to the Philippines, once wrote that “the simple program of Christ for winning the world is to make each person he touches magnetic enough with love to draw others.”
In his book Knowing Christ Today: Why We Can Trust Spiritual Knowledge, Dallas Willard comments: “If we grow our fellowship in this direction, it will naturally affect those around us, whether in the fellowship or not. This kind of love and the ‘Presence’ go with us wherever we go. They cannot be hidden. A ‘missional church,’ in a wording often used today, is actually one that cannot be stopped from increasing, because it grows by contiguity – skin on skin” (p. 159).
The mission of Jesus, as Laubach and Willard realized, is to make fellow disciples by loving God and each other. The Great Commandment (to love God and ‘neighbors’) will inevitably result in the Great Commission (to make disciples of Jesus). But as everyone knows, a magnet can also repel if its orientation is the same as one next to it. In the same way, disciples of Jesus can repel people from him if we are no different than they – if we have the same prejudices and selfish priorities.
So, Lord, help us to be magnets to attract people to Jesus – not to repel them!