This year, we encourage our community to make it a priority to reach out to and focus on at least one unchurched person (FOCUS 1). It is essential to keep our focus because the church that started as a movement can end up becoming a monument if we are not reaching out. We become more about church preservation than community transformation.
Jesus said to his disciples in Mark 16:15-16, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation”
. Yes, Jesus fed the hungry and healed the sick but he also introduced Himself to them. Ultimately, the reason Jesus came is to save the lost. He died for our salvation. Luke 19:10: “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost”
Before Jesus ascended into heaven, he gave a great commission. And his final words to his followers in Matthew 28:19: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…”
In other words, don’t just be disciples, make disciples (make Christians). Don’t just fellowship with other disciples, engage with the unchurched and help them become disciples. Don’t just be followers of Jesus, be fisher of men. Discipleship is not just about getting other Christians into your Life Groups but it’s also getting the unchurched people to Christ.
We live in a world that we have a great deal of activity, but we accomplish little. We have many church functions but few conversions. Have you ever wondered why many churches in Australia were not growing, despite much prayer, programs and tears shed for the lost? Could it be churches are not actually reaching out to the lost in practice. Don’t just pray on the sideline. Don’t just do programs on the sidelines. The scripture says, “Go into the world and proclaim the gospel…”Obedience
Do you know that the great commission is not an option to be considered, it is a command to be obeyed. You don’t fail if the Spirit prompts you to ask someone to follow Christ and the person doesn’t. You fail when the spirit prompts you but you’re afraid to ask. He cares about the salvation of your family. He will go all the way to draw people to him. He will make a way if you are obedient enough to walk the way.
How do you reach out to people? It’s not hard. Be natural. Regardless of your personalities, we need all kinds of personalities to reach all kinds of people. The key thing is: Let Christ lives in you and lives through you
(Romans 8:10-14; Philippians 2:13). It’s not the Christian nametag you wear on Sundays that does the talking, it’s how you live your Christian life 24/7 that counts. When Christ truly lives in you and through you, there’s nowhere you can hide Christ. Don't worry that people never listen to your gospel, aware that they are always watching your gospel. Christians, you read the bible, but the non-Christians, they read you.Love
Romans 2:4: “It is your loving kindness that leads me to repentance”.
Sometimes Christians are viewed as angry people who only know how to debate in theological point of view but they don’t know how to love in action. Christians should not be known only for what they are against, but should be known for their love and attitude toward people with whom they severely disagree. John 13:35: “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples”.
(NLT) It is the Holy Spirit's role to convict, your role is to love. God called us to love real people not ideal people.Sharing the Gospel in Your World
We’ve seen many Christians who are more than willing to travel halfway around the world to share the gospel to a village, but who cannot bring themselves to share the gospel with the co-worker who sits day after day in the cubicle right next to them. Being at church on weekends is important, but being ‘the church’ Monday through Friday is more important. The truth is, you are called to be in the marketplace (homes, schools, workplace, circle of friends, etc.) to share your faith and shape the society.
There’s a reason why God place you right where you are, because that’s the best place you can shine for Him. A small candlelight can lit up a whole room of darkness. Matthew 5:14: “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden”.
There’s a reason why God placed a certain people in your lives, sometimes they were there to witness your journey first hand. Sometimes they were there to witness the worst of you, the person you used to be and by God’s grace you turn up to be the person God intended you to be. Your story literally becomes one long message of transformation to some people who haven’t got a chance to hear the gospel in a conventional church setting but your transformed lives literally become the greatest advertisement for the gospel.Urgency of God’s Heart
The gospel is only good news if it gets there in time. Don’t leave it too late to share it with your loved ones. Do they know about Jesus? You might not be the answers to their problems but you are definitely holding the answer to their problems. Jesus is the answer. Howard Hendricks said, “In the midst of a generation screaming for answers, Christians are stuttering.”
Romans 1:16: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes…”
(NIV). Instead of asking what’s wrong with the world. We should have asked ourselves: What has happened to the salt and the light of the world? You are the light of the world.Discussion Questions
1. Identify the person God has placed in your heart to reach out to?
2. Reflect on your approach to sharing the Good News.
3. Your story and testimony does more than tell others who you are. It may also tell them why you are here. Pray and thank God for your journey.
4. So how do you share your story? One simple way is to pray, put it on paper and practice. Start with your life before Christ, and then tell how you encountered Him. End with how your life has changed because of Him. Try to articulate your story in a few minutes. You are a living testimony!
5. You are part of someone's story. Every situation is an opportunity to share and leave Christ's mark in someone else's story. God never fails writing, producing and directing love stories on earth all the time. It's just that He has so many "inexperienced actors". Reflect on various ways you can share the love of Christ with others.
6. Besides wisdom, practical tips and practice, you need boldness and empowerment from the Holy Spirit.
The disciples had enjoyed three years of teaching from Jesus. They had been discipled by the master Discipler. But mere teaching is never enough. The disciples acted like cowards on the night of Jesus’s arrest. But once they were empowered by the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, the church started to spread like a fire.
Acts 1:8: you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witness in… What’s the empowerment for? So that you will be His witness…Prayer for Baptism of the Holy Spirit:
There are no magic words or one right way to receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit. You receive Him and the same way you received Jesus - by faith. Even if you don’t feel it, don’t worry. Just receive it by faith. You probably don’t feel anything when you tithe or pray either. But you do it in faith, obedience and expectancy.Pray this prayer:
Fill me with your spirit now Lord. I want more of you. Baptise me in the Holy Spirit today. This is your will for me. I ask you right now to fill me with your Holy Spirit. Grant me the power of your Holy Spirit to do your work. In Jesus name, Amen.