I have neighbors from India. Their faith of choice is Hindu.
They are great neighbors. They have been extremely helpful on different projects and are always willing to share their stuff. He has invited me over to look at his refinished basement. When he redid his garage, he was quick to invite me in to take a look. I really like both of them, but they are headed for an eternity without Jesus.
Why doesn’t that move me more? Why am I not as concerned about that as I should be? Because I have fallen to Western Christianity as many of us have. And my heart has grown cold toward lostness and very warm for the next big event, the next big hill, the next big thing that will put my church on the map.
That thinking won’t create the kind of God-movement that is driven by the heart of God. Events and church growth systems are not the heartbeat of God. If we are going to see a movement of God happen in our time, we need to repent and realign our hearts with the heart of God for lost people.
The Lost Chapter
This would be a great time to pause and go and read Luke 15.
There’s the story of a shepherd who is missing one of his sheep. Maybe it is injured or has simply wandered off. Whatever the reason, it is lost. It’s not “finding its own path” or “discovering its own truth.” It’s lost. And the shepherd does whatever it takes to find the one. (and “Reckless Love” plays quietly in the background)
Then there’s a widow and in her home, every penny counts. When a coin gets lost she turns her house upside down looking for that coin. That money to her was so valuable that everything else came to a screeching halt until she found it. When she finally finds it, she throws a huge party.
Then there’s a father with a wayward son. And the father waits patiently while the son squanders his life and wealth. When the son finally comes to his senses and heads home, the father rushes to him and calls for a huge celebration. That son was lost but is now found.
The reality is that in the church we have changed so much of our language on lostness so that we aren’t offensive or off-putting. We don’t want to scare people away and I totally get the sentiment. However, it has created in our minds and in our churches, the thought that people aren’t really that lost. God’s going to get them someway, somehow, through someone else. It’s not really that big of a deal.
But people are lost and are going into eternities without Jesus. And if that doesn’t break our hearts enough to make significant changes in our work weeks, then our hearts simply aren’t beating in alignment with God’s.
So what can we do?
The Foundation of a Disciple-Making Movement
Confession is to say the same thing as. This is where I tell God, “I admit my heart isn’t where Your heart is for lost people.” Just admit it if this is you.
Church leaders must lead the way in repentance. “God, my heart isn’t aligned well with Yours. Change my heart.” This is where we must make the heart and mind shift so that we are aligning ourselves every day with the heart of God.
What’s the name of one lost person you know? What are the names of five people you know who don’t know Jesus? If you can’t name five people who don’t know Jesus, you need to get with the lost more. It’s time to break out of the Christian bubble and spend some time with someone who doesn’t know Jesus.
Pray bold prayers that God will change the hearts of lives of those people around you. Pray for them by name. Take them personally before the Throne of God and ask Him to change go before you to change their hearts to be receptive to the Gospel. Because the next thing we need to do is…
Ask them about their story. Ask how you can pray for them. Share your story with them. While you’re planting flowers, washing a car or grilling burgers. Share your story. Tell them how God has changed your life. Sow the seed of the Gospel and allow God to do His best work.
I’m convinced a disciple-making movement can happen in my time, in my nation, in my city, but it’s only going to happen when we align our hearts with God on the lostness of people and grow in our passion to reach them before it’s too late.
Pray for me. Pray for my boldness to share the Gospel with my neighbors.
I’m praying for you.