This is one of my favorite excerpts from a foundational book for our ministry at Disciple Nations Alliance. If Jesus Were Mayor was written by one of our co-founders, Bob Moffitt. This particular story takes place during a conference he was leading for church leaders on a Muslim-dominated island in the Philippines.
The last day of the conference, ten people dressed in Muslim clothing came into the large church where we met. They took their places. A hush fell over the audience. There had been skirmishes between Muslim rebels and the government. Tension between Muslim and non-Muslim was high.
Later that day, we discovered that these were new Christian converts who were late because they had been delayed four days at military checkpoints on their way. They asked if they could give their testimonies.
For many years, Christians had come to their village, preaching and handing out tracts. The village people rejected the message. Recently, a group of people had come to the village simply to minister lovingly to the needs of the people. Only later did the village people discover that these caring people were Christians. The impact of this ministry was so powerful that a number of villagers came to Christ.
The final testimony of a teenage girl still burdens me. Christians had come to her village doing traditional evangelism for years–perhaps even before she was born. Yet, only when the Gospel came wrapped in love and good works did it reap a harvest. She concluded with an unforgettable question: “What took you so long?“
If we expect people to hear the Gospel with their heart, we have to show them who He really is and how deep His love is for them!