Our 10,000 stories vision is such a powerful vision that none of us can do alone, but together we can.
The only way we can reach so many people with the Gospel is by two primary activities: Engaging and Connecting.
We are to see ourselves as hands and feet of Jesus. We need to believe that when we reach out to people, this connection will ultimately bring the transformation.FOCUS 1
We believe that the best way to reach so many people is to FOCUS on 1 - focus on one person that God has brought across our path.
Think about the good shepherd from Mt 18:12 and onwards, He leaves 99 to focus on just one lost sheep. People might see evangelism as just what we do and what we say, but evangelism is the way we live. Evangelism is the way Jesus lived.
Mt. 28:18-20, Jesus has all the authority on heaven and He commands us to go and make disciples. He sent us on a God-ordained mission. So we are not alone. It is not just our idea. This is our mandate.
Let's also look at the word “Go”. For us, people with Western thinking, “Go” means something that you don't do unless you start to do. But this was written in Greek, and the meaning of the “Go” in Greek is "as you go about your life". So, what people of those times heard was "as you go about your life, make disciples". As you go about your life as a mum, mechanic or an artist, as you shop, work or raise your children, you are to reach out and make disciples.What Did Jesus Do?
In the Message translation of John 1:14, we read that "The word became flesh and lived in the neighbourhood".
Jesus was destined to reach many, to save the world, yet He when met the man with leprosy, or the woman at the well, the prostitute or zealot, He would stop. He would touch their lives. He would reach out as He lived, walked, travelled. He was present and he focused on one.
In the Gospel of Mark chapter 1, we read "A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said.
Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” He said. “Be healed!"
This was a real story; he knelt and begged. The Bible says Jesus was moved with compassion; He stopped and touched him in spite of the religious law not to touch those people.B.L.E.S.S.
There are 5 helpful practices that will help us to reach out like Jesus:“B” for Begin with prayer
Prayer lays the foundation by which we are saying that God is already at work and we are joining Him in that work. Ask God to open your eyes to see people that need help today. We can ask God to break our hearts so that God can fill us with compassion.“L” for Listen
We have to be still to listen to people, to be able to hear their story. Very often we are too busy to stop, to be present and hear what people have to share with us. People are crying out for someone to listen to their story. Be creative; find the way to talk to people and to hear their story. I would go to the cafe and ask the waiters about their tattoos. One out of ten will be willing to share their story.“E” for Eat
Scholars say that Jesus ate His way through the Gospel. People killed Him even for the way He ate, because He ate and drank with sinners. A meal is a transaction of friendship. Jesus ate with those who were despised by others, but He never cared about what religious people had to say.
Invite people. Share meal. Be generous. Biblical generosity and hospitality is a great way of hospitality.“S” for Serve
When you serve people, you will get more chances to share the message of Jesus. To be able to serve them, we need to be able to listen to them, to hear them and to love them.“S” for Share
Share your story.
Would the city weep if would not be here? As we go about doing our lives, let's engage with the people God sends us, pray for them, listen to them, eat with them serve them in the way you can and then share your story. Let's “Focus on 1”.Discussion Questions
1. Your life was once transformed; can you remember the person who got engaged with you? Who reached out to you? What was important for you?
2. As you are going about doing life, can you think of the different people that you encounter in stores, cafes, work place? Can you think of the ways you can engage with them?
3. Share with others how you’ve already practice B.L.E.S.S. in your outreach.
4. Think about the person or family you feel God is leading you to focus on, and think of the ways to practice B.L.E.S.S.
5. Share your thoughts with the group and agree to pray for your FOCUS 1 person every time you meet together as a group.