by Abraham Cremeens
When it comes to disciple-making, there is one interaction with Jesus that has always stood out to me. Jesus encountered a man who was possessed by multiple demons. He was lost and desperate. Jesus intervened and healed him. His life was forever changed. It makes sense that the man wanted to follow Jesus there after, but Jesus did not permit him to go. Mark tells us,
As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. 19 And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled. (Mark 5.18-20 ESV)
This interaction clearly promotes God’s design for disciple-making. He pours out mercy on those whom he calls to himself and then sends them back into the culture as agents of that same mercy. Mercy was never meant to stop with you. It was always designed to move through you into the lives of others as you go to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you.
As we approach Resurrection Sunday in a few weeks, we are launching an initiative church-wide called Who’s Your One? I love the simplicity of it. If you are like me, evangelism can be overwhelming as you think of the 7+ billion people around the globe. What can I do? Can I have an impact? Yes, we can, but it always comes down to one person at a time, loving them well as you point them to the Lord of all mercy.
We are a church family of more than 350 people. If each of us prayerfully considered one person we could share the Lord of mercy with, that is 350+ lives impacted with the good news of Jesus Christ. That’s 350+ who hear about the one who can free them from sin and death. That’s 350+ that can experience a God who meets their every need. It would make us an army of mercy. That’s an exciting thought.
Now, maybe you already have a one identified and are actively engaging them with the Gospel. Great! Consider this some extra fuel in your evangelistic tank. Or, as a parent, you recognize you have your one right under your roof. Consider this an opportunity to renew that effort and identify one person you can reach as a family. What if you encouraged your kids to find their one?
We will continue to communicate this initiative over the next several weeks. For now, begin to prayerfully identify your one and regularly pray for them. Prayer is not a part of ministry. Prayer is ministry. (You can download a prayer guide here.) Second, begin investing time in the relationship. Invite them over for a grillout as the weather gets warmer. Third, ask God for boldness to invite them to read the Bible with you and even to attend a worship gathering with you. Surveys indicate that most non-Christians will consider an invite on Easter Sunday.
Successfull evangelism is simply being a faithful messenger. You are not responsible for the response or outcome. Trust God and take steps of faith as you point people to the Lord of mercy. Further, you are not alone in this; you are part of a whole church family focusing on this together. Imagine the impact we would have if each of us simply loved one person in this way. That is an exciting thought.
Let’s do it!
Click here for the Who's Your One? Prayer Guide