Last week, we had a helpful discussion regarding contacts and the HTHSOE bookmarks. Mel Hutzler preaches for the Northern Oaks church of Christ in San Antonio, Texas. He explained that some members were having trouble coming up with ten sinners they knew well enough to prospect. This certainly poses a problem to filling out your contact bookmark!

Some Christians find it more and more difficult to find contacts due to changes in our culture. As our nations drifts further into wickedness, we are tempted to become more isolated from sinners. These circumstances have changed the way we work and socialize. Many are no longer forced to work directly with sinners due to virtual offices. Christians are no longer forced to shop with sinners due to free shipping and mobile pickup. We are no longer forced to talk with them face-to-face, due to digital media. We are no longer forced to personally visit with them due to social media. Unlike Jesus who sought out sinners (Luke 19:10), we may tend to do the opposite. How many of us go an entire week without any meaningful conversation or relationship with sinners? In fact, the only time some of us socialize is when we assemble with the saints.

Mel decided to make use of the very technology separating us to solve the problem. He suggested members pick up their mobile phone, go to their contacts, and scroll down. If we do this, how many sinners do we find? I imagine it is many more than ten. How many families, friends, co-workers, and neighbors are listed? Perhaps you have forgotten how many people you truly know. Perhaps you need more than one bookmark to write them down. Begin reaching out to them and build your relationships. The closer you get to them, the easier it will be to prospect.

I would suggest that, like Jesus, we seek out sinners. Jesus sought out an adulterous Samaritan woman in John 4. He mingled with lepers, those in religious error, the diseased, the poor, and the blind. Jesus ate with publicans and sinners so often that His enemies used these associations to insult Him. He took their insults as a badge of honor. Jesus did not come to call the righteous, but rather sinners to repentance (Luke 5:32). Though we insulate ourselves from their sins, we must not isolate ourselves from sinners.