Back on March 8th, I shared another quiet secret of my life. Though, I've attended (and been a member of) both large and small churches, I've never served at a church or been a member of a church that's baptized 50 people in a year that the church family won to Christ themselves. Some people haven't had my experience. They've enjoyed being part of passionately evangelistic churches with enthusiastically evangelistic pastors. I haven't. The whole thing seems foreign to me. It also seems very wrong. Churches that don't reach significant numbers of people and lead them to Jesus, just don't seem to match the picture God gives in the Bible. It doesn't take a big congregation to have a big impact. My current congregation isn't much bigger than the gathering in the upper room in Acts 1. God sure used them to produce Kingdom results far beyond their number. I believe God still works that way.
Back to March 8th. I challenged my congregation (my friends, brothers, and sisters and Christ) to reach, lead to Jesus, baptize, and connect to the church 50 people by the end of 2015. It made me a little uncomfortable to share my quiet secret. I crossed another line. I can't do it alone, but I'm the Pastor of an awesome church full of people who've received the Holy Spirit, who treasure God's Word, and who seek to fulfill God's commands. They're chasing the heart of God. So, I think we're good. But, the results will be God's work. We've never done it on our own.
This Sunday (March 15th) we prayed that God would take us into that challenge. We prayed that God would help us reach 50, then 51, then 52, and so on. It will take more than 50 baptisms to reach our goal. We're looking for 50 people that we lead to Jesus, our fruit. We'll have to be evangelistic. Here's our goal.
Our 2015 goal is to obey the Great Commission and baptize and connect to the church 50 people that we have led to Jesus.
We also started memorizing a Scripture together, the whole church. "Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ's behalf, 'Be reconciled to God.'"
If we live out those words, we're on the way!
Crossing the Lines
The ideas behind this blog emerged from my study and preaching of a message I titled "A Single Step." It was an unexpected message out of Philippians 2:12-18. I'm the one who was surprised. I had a whole different idea of where the sermon would go. Then, I got into the text and followed it. That led, eventually, to the response by individuals after the message. God worked in me and in our congregation. He's still at work.
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