Who is “The One” for Your Church?
I have a terrible habit of losing things.
My phone can be in my hand one minute and the next swallowed up by time and space. Of course, it’s always on silent, so calling it never helps me find it.
It’s embarrassing the number of times I have had to call a locksmith to help me break into my downtown apartment. They really love me at Pop-a-Lock.
Then there’s my driver’s license… the DMV doesn’t love me quite as much.
The list could go on.
I totally relate to the story of the lady with the lost coin. I just imagine her taking out her couch cushions, retracing every step, maybe even looking in the refrigerator.
I’m often reminded of the stories in Luke 15 when I lose things. It’s a physical reminder of my calling as a church leader.
Jesus Loves Lost Things
Three parables point significantly and intentionally to the heartbeat of our mission as the local church. The first two are about lost possessions: the lost sheep and the lost coin.
When talking about the lost sheep, Jesus says this, “Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it?”
And the woman with the lost coin, “Won’t she light a lamp and sweep the entire house and search carefully until she finds it?”
These narratives are about a divine initiative from a loving God who commits to working tirelessly until what is lost has been recovered.
In the same way, all believers are called to relentlessly pursue the lost things in our circle of influence. As church leaders, we must be resourcing, equipping, and teaching our congregations toward their responsibility of the one.
It’s so much bigger than having a growing Sunday crowd. In fact, if you make it about only that, there might be some impurities in your heart. The pursuit is because of a love for the lost person. And Jesus loves lost people.
Jesus Loves Lost People
We see this most clearly in the story of the lost son. The one who squandered his inherited wealth in a foreign land on wild living and prostitutes.
He finally breaks and prepares a speech to give his dad about becoming a hired hand at their estate. He makes the trek back home and before he has the chance to give that speech, the father stops him, embraces him, loves him, and welcomes him home.
Jesus concludes the story like this, “We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!”
They probably rented bounce houses. Hired a DJ. Grilled steak and lobster. Special ordered cupcakes, the ones with the good frosting.
God wants to embrace and love and welcome those far from Him in your context through your people.
There are hundreds or even thousands of connections to lost people your church goers care about. Imagine them feeling a distinct calling and responsibility to reach them.
Rally your church around ‘the one’ in their life. It will create an undeniably impactful evangelism culture that is in line with the heartbeat of the Father.
Here is an example of how IC Coach Jeff Kirkpatrick and his church, The Church on Rush Creek, rallied their members around the one: