In all honesty, who are your people?

When training people in how to be effective disciple-makers, I often hear people remark that most of their friends and most people they know are Christians.

It’s a common issue: after becoming a Christian, instead of going into the world to make disciples, most retreat from the world to wallow in fellowship with others like them. Other Christians become their “people.”

William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, understood how many Christians insulate themselves from the world, which means they can’t reach it for Christ. It’s a bad mistake he didn’t want his children to make. One Sunday evening Booth was walking in London with his son, Bramwell, who was 12 or 13 years old at the time. Booth surprised his son by taking him into a saloon! The place was crowded with men and women, many of them bearing on their faces the marks of vice and crime; some were drunk. The fumes of alcohol and tobacco was thick in the air.

“Willie,” Booth said to his son, “these are our people; these are the people I want you to live for and bring to Christ.”

Years later, Bramwell Booth wrote, “The impression never left me.”

It was the same kind of people that Jesus spent a lot of time with …

“Later, as Jesus left the town, he saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at his tax collector’s booth. ‘Follow me and be my disciple,’ Jesus said to him. So Levi got up, left everything, and followed him. Later, Levi held a banquet in his home with Jesus as the guest of honor. Many of Levi’s fellow tax collectors and other guests also ate with them. But the Pharisees and their teachers of religious law complained bitterly to Jesus’ disciples, ‘Why do you eat and drink with such scum?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Healthy people don’t need a doctor — sick people do. I have come to call not those who think the are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent’,” Luke 5:27-32.

If someone asked your children who your “people” are, what would they say? What kind of example of Christian ambassadorship are you setting for your children? In all honesty, who are your people?