One pastor recently told the story of a woman who came up to him after the church service with a basic question. “Pastor, after you announce what book of the Bible you are going to read from, what are those numbers you say?” She did not realize that the Pastor was giving a number reference that corresponded to a chapter and verse. When I heard that, I saw that it illustrates how our society has drifted away from basic biblical literacy and familiarity. The church that does not realize that the dynamics of the mission field are changing will not be effective in reaching lost people for Jesus Christ.
Here are a few things that we need to keep in mind at Quail as we continue to attempt to reach out to those who do not know Jesus here in Stockton…
- We must truly believe that people who do not know Jesus as savior are lost for all eternity. Even nice looking, respectful, polite and well-off people stand in need of a savior.
- We must truly believe that lost people matter to God. He loves them and Jesus died for them.
- We must work to not see the church as a colony for the spiritually comfortable, but rather a mission center to reach those who need Jesus.
- We must have a high expectation that our committed members will be joyfully involved in enabling the work to move forward. This means worshipping regularly, giving generously, studying the Word diligently and serving lovingly according to your divine design.
- We must know what to change and what not to change as we seek to reach out. Churches that are in decline are often those who do things just they way that they did them 25 years ago.
- We must invite our friends and neighbors and have full confidence that the body of Christ will accept them once they get here. Let’s face it, many of the people who will come through our doors in need of the savior will not look like those of us who have walked with Jesus for a while, and that needs to be ok!
- We must see the worldwide mission efforts that we are a part of by God’s grace as an exciting blessing.
These seven qualities are not just ideas that I have come up with, but they represent the results of an extensive survey done by Dr. George Hunter, Dean of Asbury Seminary’s school of World Mission. These are the qualities of impact churches that are seeing souls won for Christ that were tabulated through his study.
It is my prayer that we here at Quail will be that “mission center for lost souls,” knowing that as we are, the spiritual growth and nurture of believers cannot help but be enhanced.
His and yours,