How many of you remember watching “Lassie” on television in the 1960s? It was one of my favorite shows as a little boy. Lassie always showed up at the right time to rescue someone who was in trouble. Just as the dog Lassie was instrumental in saving people needing help, we can use the acronym LASSIE as a witnessing tool to help rescue people who are in spiritual trouble. Developed by the Rev. Mark Wood, director of LCMS Witness & Outreach Ministry, and his team, LASSIE can help you become a person who shows up at just the right time in someone’s life.
In fact, that job is even more important than Lassie’s role. Here’s why. If people don’t believe in Christ Jesus, they are in real trouble. They are spiritually dead and an enemy of the true God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If they die in this spiritual state, they will be in even worse trouble because they will spend an eternity in Hell.
The Good News is that God doesn’t want this outcome for any person. He sent His Son Jesus Christ to live perfectly under His Law in order to fulfill it for all people. The Law demands that people who sin shall die for their sins. All of us deserve to die eternally because we have all sinned. But God, in His grace, has provided us a way to live eternally in bliss and happiness with Him. That way is through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ took the sins of all mankind upon Himself and paid the price for those sins once and for all on the Cross of Calvary. All people have been justified by Jesus’ redemptive work. But unless you know this truth and trust in it for yourself, it will do you no good. The way that you trust in Christ is by being called into faith in Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit. And that’s where believers come in, because the Holy Spirit calls people through the Gospel message of Christ. If people never hear it, they will never know the truth. LASSIE can help you share this message.
Remember that God is a relational God and we are relational people. The common Christian symbol of the sacrifice that God has made for us, namely the cross, shows us this truth. A cross has a vertical line. This signifies that God comes down to us. We are individually in relationship with Him. He blesses us through that relationship. A cross also has a horizontal line. This helps us to see that we are in relationship with people. It also helps us to understand that the Good News that God has given to us should be shared by us with others in our relationships. By taking the time to develop relationships in which we can share God’s Word, we are a blessing to others, even more than Lassie on TV!
Listen to the person with whom you are visiting.
Ask questions that will encourage discussion.
Seek a point of connection.
Share what can change people’s hearts: God’s Word.
Invite the person to keep the conversation going.
Encourage the person to keep thinking about the Gospel message by following up and following through.