A Word from Adam – The Next Person

Some of the things we talk constantly about at Embrace is “reaching the next person for Christ”, basing decisions off of “those yet to come”, and being “pumped about those who are joining us for the first time”. I’d be surprised if we didn’t say at least one of these phrases on any given Sunday.
And now… I know it’d be easy to view this all as just another organization trying to grow… a business trying to build an empire… or a group trying to make a name for itself… and being real… if one’s eyes aren’t focused on the Lord… it’s so easy for this to be and become the truth…and yet, here’s the heart behind it at Embrace:
–Jesus told some of those closest to Him (His disciples) that He’d make them “fishers of men”. (Matt 4:19)
–One of the last things Jesus said to all of His followers was to “go and make disciples of all nations”. (Matt 28:19)
–He also mentioned something about us as the church… being “the light of the world”. (Matt 5:14)
–To explain God’s heart once… Jesus said He’s like a woman who lost a coin, a shepherd who lost a sheep, and a father who lost a son.  He was consumed with the “lost”! (Luke 15)
–And about Himself… Jesus said He was “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” (John 14:6)

And with all of this… we’re crazy enough… that we actually believe that it’s true.
(Not to mention on a personal level, I don’t know about you but I’m utterly and completely lost without Jesus myself. He’s my everything… and I’m not just saying that because I should… and it sounds pastorish… I’m saying it because it’s true. Again… I am lost. without. Jesus.)

A couple of things with all of this:
First, more than any other time before, I’m praying that God will use this church (along with other churches) to radically reach Sioux Falls (and the surrounding area). I’m truly praying the Lord will use us in ways we can’t imagine or comprehend… to reach the next person, the next, the next, and the next… and the next (I think you get where I’m going). That the Lord would use us to introduce others (all of Sioux Falls) to Jesus.

Second… If you consider yourself a Christian… I wanna challenge us (including myself) with a question: Are you reaching others for Jesus? I mean seriously… Can you list off the names of people you’ve been praying for?  People you’re intentionally loving on… People you’ve invited (to church, small group, an event, even to just hang out). Can you? (again I’m included). If you can’t… and you consider yourself a Christian… this should be incredibly concerning!!!! I mean… It should make us pause and ask “AM I MYSELF REALLY FOLLOWING JESUS?” Why? Because followers of Jesus… reach others for Jesus! Period! And if we’re not reaching… well then… maybe we’re not following.

Now you might say… “But Adam, my faith is personal between me and God”, “I’m a bit of a private person”, “I’m German, Norwegian or whatever else and I don’t talk about stuff like God” (side note: I’m German Norwegian myself)…. and yet I think about Jesus’ response to this (looking at the Bible)… and I’m just guessing He’d say “Yeah that’s great… I knew that… but that’s not an excuse… now get up and go make disciples of all nations!!!”

Again… followers of Jesus… no exceptions… reach others for Jesus!

Now, here’s a few thoughts:
–I don’t think street preaching is the way to go!
–If you’re a loud, annoying, judgmental Christian…whose life is void of love… I’d actually beg you to not tell others about a person (Jesus) that you don’t know yourself!
–Please don’t beat others over the head with the Bible, leave a Jesus track on your buddy’s car window, or put a “repent or burn” sign up in your front yard!

Rather I just wanna challenge us… to ask and follow through with a few simple questions:
–Who are we praying for? Daily and faithfully. Maybe think about writing a few names down someplace where you’ll see it each morning as a reminder to pray for them.
–Who are we loving on? Serving on, being real with, and showering with compassion. We must be intentional; otherwise, with the busyness of each day, nothing will happen.
–Who are we inviting? Friends, neighbors, coworkers, family?
Need some ideas of what to invite people to? Here are 2 of them:
This Sunday, we’re starting a new 3 week series called “Ugly”. I think it’s going to be powerful! Invite away! Click here.
Friday Nov 9th at 6:30pm, we’re having a free Movie Night and we’re showing The Lorax! It’s gonna be an AWESOME night! Know anyone with kids? This is the PERFECT opportunity to invite them. Spread the word! Click here.

Thankfully we don’t have to be perfect, all knowing followers of Jesus… to be used to reach the next person for Jesus… I’m actually continually seeing that the Lord uses just the opposite… God loves to use the imperfect, broken, ordinary, most unlikely of people to do awesome things!

Love you Embrace!