Thursday, September 3, 2009

September 3, 2009

"Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.'" Luke 15:4-6
I remember being an eager young pastor coming out of college determined to win the world for Christ. Here I am 37 years later still trying to get it done.
Have I failed? Am I discouraged? Will it happen before I get promoted to Heaven?
The answers, "No, no, and probably not."
But I have discovered something along the way that has helped me a bunch. I think it will help you when I share it.
I don't have to reach the world. Neither do you. We just need to reach the people that God brings into our corner of the world, to our area of influence.
I haven't reached the world but I touched Rhonda Baker. Rhonda is now serving on the ministry staff of Central Christian Church in Las Vegas, Nevada. They touched 20,000 people at Easter. Every day Rhonda walks into the lives of Las Vegas show girls, strippers, and prostitutes and shares the love of Jesus with them. Some of them believe and find Christ. If God hadn't touched Rhonda through my ministry, Rhonda wouldn't reach these otherwise unreachable women. I am glad I reached Rhonda.
I haven't changed the world but I touched the life of Nick DeCola. For over 20 years Nick and his wife, Debbie, have evangelized and discipled hundreds of college students on the Campus of Syracuse University in New York. Now they serve on the training staff of Campus Crusade for Christ in Orlando. Nick and Debbie haven't reached the whole world, but they are training world changers.
I haven't changed the world but I touched the life of Tim Howard. Tim is the strongest soul-winner I have ever known. He has personally led hundreds of people to Christ and has trained dozens of others how to do it and he developed an outreach method that has been marketed and used around the world. He has a vision of reaching a 1,000,000 people for Christ in his lifetime. He might just do it.
No one person can reach the whole world. We aren't even wired to emotionally care for the whole world. That would wear us out.
But here's what we can do and what we should do:
CARE - about lost people. Pray that God will give you a Great Commission mindset and a Great Commandment heart.
CELEBRATE - anytime anyone comes to Christ, join Heaven in rejoicing and celebrating their salvation!
CONCENTRATE - on the few people that God has placed in your world, under your influence and in your friendship circle. Pray for their salvation regularly. Show them love and kindness. Earn the right to share your faith with them.
If you reach a few and I reach a few and the few we reach reach a few more and those few reach a few......well.........