The power of personal relationships
May 16, 2006
I once received a handwritten letter from a person, whose name I did not recognize on the return portion of the envelope. The penmanship was beautiful. After opening and reading the first two of six pages, I realized that I was reading the testimony of a Jehovah’s Witness. This lady was working for her salvation through her own efforts rather than relying on the finished work of Jesus. There is no telling how many of these letters she has written. What drew me into her letter was the personal touch she invested. When the mail comes to your house, do you open the handwritten envelopes first or the ones with the cellophane windows?
Everything we do is built upon relationships. Personal relationships are the tracks that the Gospel message can roll across. Personal relationships are the key to success even in the secular world. A pastor friend of mine told the story of Jerry Rice.
“Jerry Rice is considered one of the greatest receivers ever to play the game of football. He played 12 years for the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders. Rice holds several NFL records and will someday be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. You would think he probably played college football at a major University like Oklahoma, Ohio State or Miami, but he played college football at a small school in Itta Bena, Mississippi, called Mississippi Valley State University.
“Rice was asked one time why he played for Mississippi Valley State University instead of one of the major universities. He responded by saying, ‘Out of all the schools to recruit me, Mississippi Valley State University was the only school to come to my house and give me a personal visit.’”
When I read this story about Rice, it just put an exclamation point behind the need for personal relationships when telling the story about Christ.
In an age of computer-generated letters and phone calls, people still like, and still need, a personal touch. Remember, the command that Jesus gave us was not to “sit around the house,” it was to “GO into all the world.” (Matthew 28:19).