How often do we invite others to go to church or "come to Christ" by telling them what they will get out of it? We are shown by advertising in our world that by listing all the benefits of whatever is being sold we can get people to buy it. So we often use this same approach with regards to sharing Christ with others -- "come to church with me -- you'll love the singing", "come to our Wednesday service -- you'll hear a really inspirational speaker". Don't get me wrong, there is certainly nothing bad about this approach and many people are attracted through it. However, there are people for whom this approach doesn't work and there a short little account of one of these folks in Numbers 10:29-32.
In this passage, Moses first invites Hobab to join the Israelites on their journey from Sinai to the Promised Land -- “We are setting out for the place of which the Lord said, ‘I will give it to you.’ Come with us, and we will treat you well; for the Lord has promised good things to Israel.” (Numbers 10:29). As do many people Hobab responds that he'll not go, but instead return to his own land (Midian). Instead of giving up or again telling Hobab about all the great things that lie in wait, Moses instead offers the following -- “Please do not leave, inasmuch as you know how we are to camp in the wilderness, and you can be our eyes." (Numbers 10:31). Interesting -- rather than listing benefits for Hobab, Moses asks for his help. Being familiar with the wilderness in which they find themselves, Moses and the people of Israel would certainly appreciate help, along with all the direction God provided them.
So perhaps a small lesson for us is that rather than "selling" God to others, perhaps we can involve them by asking for their help -- "can you edit this blog for me", "can you look over this (Bible) verse and help me make sense of it", "can you help babysit some children in our nursery Sunday morning". By humbling ourselves and admitting we all can use help, we often find others who are more than willing to come along.
It worked for Moses -- perhaps it'll work for you as well.....