I am participating in the Nazarene Leaders’ Conference this week, which is a meeting called by the Board of General Superintendents that includes USA/Canada district superintendents, regional directors, Global Ministry Center directors, and the presidents of our Nazarene schools. Dr. David Busic preached the Monday evening message around the theme of passionate evangelism. He preached from three stories in Acts 8—10 and focused on the question, “How far will God go to bring one person to faith?”
Toward the end of the message, Dr. Busic shared a personal story of how he turned from God as a young adult. He also told of four men in his home church who received a burden to pray for his salvation. They gathered every Wednesday morning for an hour with the singular purpose of praying that David would come back to a vital walk with Jesus. How God answered their prayers and the way the story turned out is obvious to anyone who knows Dr. Busic. It just made me wonder, are we leading our people to capture this kind of passionate burden for the lost? So much so, that they would inconvenience themselves to gather before work once a week and pray that these loved ones and friends would come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord?
Are we leading our people to capture this kind of passionate burden for the lost?
Those of us who served under Dr. Keith Wright can still quote the missional focus that he pressed into us at every opportunity: “Lost and broken people matter to God. Therefore, lost and broken people must matter to us.” Is there evidence of this passionate evangelism in our churches? Is there evidence of this evangelistic passion in our own lives? Indeed, I know this is the growing story in several of our churches, and I thank God for these signs of revival. But I think we may also agree that our concern and passion for lost people could grow much deeper. I thought about the several names that are on my daily prayer list including neighbors, family members, and children of friends. I pray for them by name, but I confess that sometimes I wonder about the efficacy of my prayers. I know that God calls me not only to pray but often also to act in obedience to the promptings of the Spirit that often come during prayer.
Let’s remember and lead our people to remember that lost and broken people matter to God. Therefore, lost and broken people must matter to us.
I think one of the more effective things I did as a pastor was to lead my people in actually keeping a list of people in their sphere of influence (maybe just one, or five, or even ten) for whose salvation they would pray daily. Do you have this kind of list that you pray over daily? Do you think your people have this kind of list of friends and loved ones for whom they are praying? I’d like to challenge us to lead our people in this practice and to call our people to join with one another in special times of prayer over these lists, just as the men of Dr. David Busic’s congregation prayed faithfully for him. In all that we are being called upon to think about and respond to these days, let’s not forget our primary ministry and mission. Let’s remember and lead our people to remember that lost and broken people matter to God. Therefore, lost and broken people must matter to us.