This post was originally written March 20, 2009…
I’m sitting at Starbucks this evening with my husband. It’s date night, and we’ve had a chance to connect with some other pastors and their wives for dinner. It was a really nice time, a chance to re-charge and to remember that others are struggling with the same things we are and passionate with the same dreams we are.
After dinner, on our drive home, my husband and I were excitedly discussing the evening, and I can imagine that in the vehicles of the other pastors and wives, the discussions were just as animated.
We see our churches, we see the decline of fundamental churches across our country, we see the condition of our young people, we see the culture around us and our general inability to reach them or speak their language… and I can imagine that the discussions in every home-bound vehicle were centered on these same needs.
Our King in heaven is not asleep. He also sees the needs.
However, I also think our King in heaven has a plan that He wants us to follow. I wonder how many of us are digging into His “instruction manual,” to find out what that plan is.
So here we are at Starbucks, sipping our favorite (decaf) brew and following our original discussion. The coffee shop is filled with teenagers and 20-somethings. (Amazing to me how old I’m feeling…)
Would these people enter the door of my church? Not a chance. Maybe that’s okay, maybe it’s not. Such is the discussion. Such is the argument. Should we attract them? Should we try to cater to them? How? Why? By what methods?
But is this the question?
Should we reach them?
“‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” (Romans 10:13-14, NIV).
If only our discussion would center on reaching the lost, and not on ourselves. I’m not sure how to make that happen.
But if the gospel is hid, it is hid to them that are lost (see 2 Corinthians 4:3).
“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. ” (2 Corinthians 4:4-6, NIV).
A passion for the lost. If I were lost, I would hope, pray, beg, plead to be found. I wouldn’t want to be lost. But I wouldn’t know how to fix my hopeless situation. That’s the definition of being lost, after all. Not being able to help myself. I would need a savior.
I was there once myself. If I dig through the musty mists of my past, I might remember that. And someone brought the light to me. They found me. They shined the flashlight of Jesus’ love into my life and gently told me how to get out.
“The knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” changed my life!
How evil of me to keep that light to myself!
Let’s reach our world! Let’s help the lost! Let’s reach the teenagers and the 20-somethings.
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” (2 Corinthians 4:7, NIV).
The power will come from God. The willingness to shine comes from ourselves.