February Newsletter Article

Newsletter February 2020

Greetings Elam!  I write to you from Warner Robins, having spent two days with our denominational strategist talking about discipleship and evangelism. When it comes to discipleship and evangelism, what does that looks like for Georgia, but more specifically, what does that look like for Elam?  Are we as a denomination and a church doing all that we can do, no matter the cost (personally, corporately) to reach the lost around us and disciple them, so that they too reach the lost?  I was reminded through these few days, that the church does not exist for the believer, the church exists for the lost.  There has been a shift in our thinking and practices over the last few decades that mostly focuses all of our efforts and resources on what makes us comfortable, while all the while, the people outside of the walls of the church are dying and going to hell. Jesus clearly teaches this in Luke 15:1-7. If we break the text down, it looks like this: 1. Verse 2, If we’re not careful we’ll miss the whole point. The religious people in this account looked down on Jesus for His willingness to associate with people that are different from them.  They did not fit the mold, did not look like, did not dress like and did not act like them. But the reality is, in their thinking and actions, they were missing the whole point of the gospel.  We must understand that the gospel is for everyone. At times, we can’t see outside of our holy huddles to recognize the need to share the gospel because people are “outsiders” and don’t fit the mold of what we think a church member should look like.  The gospel excludes no one, and we shouldn’t either!  2. Verse 4, ONE is greater than ninety-nine. Sometimes we can get tunnel vision and focus on the ninety-nine and what makes them happy and comfortable, what programs fit them, what music suits them, when it really makes no difference to the ONE that is lost.  As Baptist, we can argue over things that make no difference at all to the lost.  Jesus say, go after the ONE! Jesus says, leave the ninety-nine and go though the valleys and mountains seeking the ONE that is lost and headed to an eternity in hell. Again, the church is for the lost, not the found!  We are to be actively engaged in strategies, conversations, and actions that are focused on the church reaching the lost, not what the church should be doing to make the saved comfortable. If there is one thing that the church should be comfortable about is being uncomfortable. We should never be satisfied with status quo, we should always be stepping out in faith, even when it’s uncomfortable to reach the lost. 3. Verse 7, There’s nothing more exciting than bringing people to Jesus. Look at that verse, heaven breaks out in joy, when ONE sinner comes to know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.  Shouldn’t we do the same?  The lost should be our priority, they should be our passion, they should be what we rejoice over, when they turn to Jesus.

There is going to come a day that each of us will stand before the judgement seat of God. As His people (His church) we will have to give an account of what we have done and what we didn’t do. Have you ever thought about what will be asked of you on that day?  I have!  I think it will be something like this: Did you know Jesus? Did you live for Jesus? What did you do to help others find Him? Ask yourself these questions today.  What would your answers be?  Church, lets work, think, and give to the glory of God, so that we are consistently looking out for the ONE, not ourselves. Pray that God will give each one of us a fresh desire to reach the lost no matter the cost. Ask God for ONE each Sunday. Ask God for someone to cross your path everyday that needs to hear the message of Jesus.  And pray for boldness to speak His story to that person.

I love you church,

Pastor Jody

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