Shelly and I are working with an organization this week in Jamaica called American Caribbean Experience (ACE). They essentially do the Middle Tennessee Initiative in rural Jamaica, focusing on healthcare, education, poverty, and spiritual development. We went to church yesterday at High Gate Gospel Chapel and, shockingly, they have a very similar discipleship strategy as us: being faithful followers of Jesus while making followers of Jesus, cf. being disciples of Jesus while making disciples with Jesus. I say “shockingly” in jest, because Bible believing congregations throughout the world who take the Great Commission seriously will have that same strategy. An elder preached instead of the pastor and he said this: “Witnessing to unbelievers begins by praying for them and praying for ourselves, that the Spirit will work through you for them.“
The elder’s comment prompted my mind to an old evangelist question: if God answered “Yes!” to every one of your prayers, how many new believers would there be? For years, for me, the answer was zero. I didn’t have compassion for the lost and searching like I should have, even though I was being trained in seminary to reach them! The knowledge and ability to evangelize the lost and searching does not create in us a will to evangelize the lost and searching; prayer brings our will in line with God’s so that we become passionate for and compassionate towards the lost and searching. The elder was correct: it all starts with prayer. I challenge you to challenge your groups this week as we get ready for Group Connect (August 29) and Fall New Group launches: if God answered all of the prayers of our group with a resounding, “YES!” how many new citizens of the kingdom would there be; how many people would be saved?
Encourage them to have 3 people in their minds at all times for whom they are praying to come to faith. If they don’t know three lost people, then encourage them to pray for God to make them aware of friends with 3 lost people that they can pray for. Share with them your handful of lost and searching people that you pray for to give them a model. But don’t forget to encourage them to pray for themselves, as well, that they’d have the boldness to share, a sound gospel message, and a confident personal testimony when the time comes.
Remember the Welcome–Launch Rally on Sunday, August 5!
4:00 PM – Leaders will gather in Hudson Hall
6:00 PM – Burgers and Hot Dogs on the Lawn for the whole family
Please RSVP to help us plan!