The Father in Parable of the Prodigal Son was scanning for his LOST SON (LUKE 15). He had long since taken his inheritance and disappeared from home out of Dad’s view to commit the shameful acts that would drive him into a lost world of depraved activity. His Dad never gave up hope. He would walk out onto the farm scanning the horizon always looking, always praying, always believing for hislost son to come home.
So too – God wants to insert an in-built scanner into our minds regarding seeing LOST PEOPLE for who they are – loved by God but separated from Him because of their decision to live life without Him.
Jesus’ key talk on reaching lost people is found in Luke 10 and Matthew 10. Here Jesus unwraps heaven’s strategy for reaching people who are far from God.
Luke 10:1 After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. 2 Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves. 4 Carry neither money bag, knapsack, nor sandals; and greet no one along the road. 5 But whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest on it; if not, it will return to you. 7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking such things as they give, for the labourer is worthy of his wages. Do not go from house to house. 8 Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. 9 And heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’
Here are the *Six P.O.P’s for you to remember in your journey ahead to reach lost people for Christ
- Pockets of People: identifying the social groupings that people are naturally inclined to form and go to them with the Gospel of the kingdom rather than extracting people from them to form our churches.
- Practice of Prayer: Luke 10:2 says, “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” When we teach this we spread the 10-2b virus. This is an idea based on the latter part (b) of this verse. When teaching on this, I first sneeze really loud and exaggeratedly. Then I announce that I have a very contagious virus that I can’t get rid of; it’s called the 10-2b virus. I then give them the virus. The idea is that we all set our mobile phone alarms to go off at 10:02 AM every day. I tell them that when the alarm goes off, whatever I am doing I stop for a minute, turn my thoughts to heaven, and beg my father for Him to call out and cast out new workers for His harvest fields. I also explain to whomever I am with why I am doing this, and I have them program their phone alarm too. At that point, I tell my whole audience to take their phones out and give them the time to set their alarm. If I am with people who are not yet followers of Jesus, instead of having them pray I ask if there is anything they would like me to pray for on their behalf-and then I pray for them. This is a great example of a viral catalyst. It is simple, small, surprising, significant, sticky, and spreading. As I travel around the world I spread this virus so that every time zone is infected. Every hour of every day, Heaven is being bombarded by the prayers of God’s people, begging for workers.
- Problems of Planning: Jesus specifically sends the disciples in twos without any resources except one another and the presence of the kingdom. They are not to bring money, plans, or ministry tools. He tells them specifically to simply announce, “the kingdom of God has come.” The idea is that they were to either demonstrate God’s power or leave looking like fools, but certainly not to demonstrate any power of their own. We usually make the mistake of doing the opposite. We come to people with plans, brands, resources, and expensive strategies. When we do this, those we reach are instinctively taught to believe from the start that expensive resources of this sort are what are needed to reach people, so the movement stops before it starts. We must learn to let Christ’s power shine rather than our own, and to do this we must learn to come in weakness and faith.
- Power of Presence: Jesus told his disciples to go to a town and proclaim that the kingdom of God has come. Can you imagine the audacity of such a thing? Talk about a surprising proposition that would capture everyone’s attention! The idea is that wherever you go the kingdom of God (the reign of our King) goes with you. There is power in just showing up. Light always overcomes the darkness, and you are a light to the world. Your greatest significance is found in dark places.
- Person of Peace: Jesus taught, “Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house.’ If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking what they give you; for the labourer is worthy of his wages. Do not keep moving from house to house.” The person of peace is the influential sneezer of a kingdom movement. The instructions are clear. We are not to go from house to house; the Gospel is, but we are not. The person of peace is the key to that. We call the person of peace the first domino in a chain reaction to the Gospel of the kingdom. We strategically teach people how to discover a person of peace.
- People of Purpose: the result of this kingdom strategy of Jesus is a new church born in the context in which the people are found and in such a way that it can spread from there to other such pockets of people. Jesus understood the catalytic principles of an apostolic movement.
As you begin to catch the 10-2b virus – your heart will feel a new beat toward those without Christ. May these 6 POPS help you in your journey to becoming SOUL WINNERS for Christ.
Blessings – Ps James
* Cole, Neil. Church 3.0: Upgrades for the Future of the Church (Jossey-Bass Leadership Network Series) (pp. 185-187). Wiley. Kindle Edition.