What would you tell Christians who come to Israel and want to share their love for Yeshua with Israelis?
If someone just wants to check the feel-good box of ‘I witnessed in Israel’, then they can do what they want. But if Christians want to see long-term fruit of mature disciples in Israel, I recommend two things. First, take time and learn about Israel, its culture, and its history.
“I don’t want to discourage visitors from befriending Israelis and being open about what they believe—after all, God will always have the last word on how He wants to reach Israelis. But it’s important to understand there are thousands of years of the complex relationship between God and the Jewish people laid out in countless pages of Bible verses and another couple thousand years of the complex relationship between the Gentile Church and the Jews after the final pages of the New Testament were written. You can’t just step into that dynamic and blurt out what you have to say—even if you feel it is from the Lord—and expect all that to disappear.
“This leads me to my second recommendation, which is to make every effort to team up with mature local Israeli believers who can take the reins once you have returned home. Bringing someone to the Lord is like having a spiritual baby. You don’t have a baby without a plan of how to care for it after it’s born—you know it cannot fend for itself. Going to a foreign country and bringing someone to the Lord and then leaving without finding someone who can care for them is just as irresponsible. But if you’re in relationship with Israeli believers who are set up to care for new believers, then your impact will be long-term — and you may even be able to return to the land years later and enjoy fellowship with the person you brought right up to the gates of heaven.”
“One of the more basic issues that comes up is that Christians will come and tell Jews they should convert to Christianity. There’s just nothing in the Bible that says in order for Jews to believe in Yeshua they have to stop being Jewish.”
Seeing where the Beresheet congregation was a year ago when we first wrote about him and where he is today is evidence of the favor of God on this work. The main sanctuary is packed, the youngest kids learn their Shabbat lessons on the kitchen floor, older kids learn outside on the patio and the teenagers have taken over Joseph’s tiny office space. These are good problems to have. We will work through the growing pains together. Surely, the intensity with which those he disciples seek God cannot go unnoticed by the throne of God and we look forward to see what this mustard seed will look like a generation from now.