Every follower of Jesus has an outreach temperature. It can be hot, cold or somewhere in the middle. Imagine a scale from one to ten. One is cold and ten is sizzling hot. What is your temperature right now? Are you on fire for those who are lost and praying, loving, connecting, and sharing the grace of Jesus? Or, is your temperature cold and outreach is not really on the radar of your heart right now.
This temperature impacts the way we live our life and interact with those who are far from God. It is our responsibility to steward this temperature and seek to increase it so that our hearts burn hotter for those who are spiritually lost. The one degree rule is the reality that all of us need to seek to increase our outreach temperature by one degree on a regular basis. If I am at a 3, I can take steps to raise my personal temperature to a 4. If I am at a 7, I can work at raising it to an 8. As my temperature goes up, my effectiveness in outreach increases.
Only we can really know our personal outreach temperature. Only we can name it and identify when we need to take action that will raise it by another degree. But, if we can become attentive to this aspect of our spiritual life and be intentional about raising our outreach temperature, we will see it go up consistently and the end result will be more regular and passionate outreach from us to those who are far from God.
Pray– Commit to pray three minutes each day for those God has placed in your life who are spiritually disconnected. Make a list, a note card, a memo in your phone, and pray for God to draw them to himself. Pray for your heart to go out to these people. Pray for boldness to serve them, love them, and when the time is right, share your testimony and the message of Jesus.
Connect– Make time to be with those who are far from God. Look at your schedule and honestly evaluate how much time you spend with disconnected people each week. Be sure you don’t get caught in the black hole of the church…press yourself out into the community.
Stories– Share about how God has worked in your life, or the lives of others. Tell stories about spiritual conversations you are having, about conversions, about steps people have taken forward in their journey of faith. Celebrate these!
Celebrate– Make celebration natural. In your life, home, area of ministry…get public about celebration. Remember, the angels of heaven rejoice and so should we! (Luke 15)
As you do these things, watch your temperature increase by one more degree!