I have been a church consultant for more than 20 years, and I have never seen a strong Great Commission church without a pastor burdened for his neighbors and the nations.
Simply stated, a congregation-wide DNA of brokenness over lostness usually trickles down from the top. If your longing to get the Gospel to the lost has waned, my goal here is to provide some simple suggestions to re-ignite that passion.
- Admit to God and to someone else where you are. Confession to God is the first step toward change, and accountability with others is a daily reminder of your renewed commitment.
- Ask someone to pray these texts for you: Ephesians 6:19-20 (that you will share the gospel boldly) and Colossians 4:3-4 (that God will open a door and help you speak the gospel clearly). If the apostle Paul needed folks to pray this way for him, surely pastors need this same support today.
- Do a Bible study on “grace.” Frankly, we often lose our passion for the Great Commission because we take grace for granted. Go back to the beginning of your spiritual journey, and let the Word magnify the grace of God again.
- Once a week, take a couple of hours to see your community with God’s eyes. Schedule time to be in your community. Drive around, praying as you go. If you see worship sites for other world faiths, grieve for those who worship false gods. Pray for the children and teens who attend schools you pass, knowing you may be the only person praying for them that day.
- At least once a week, walk the streets of your community and talk to people. Slow down, take a walk, speak with business leaders, ask for prayer concerns, and get to know the people you need to reach.
- At least once a week, take time to pray for an unreached people group around the world. I invite you to go to www.imb.org or www.joshuaproject.net, and learn about a people group. Hear about the spiritual blindness that keeps them in darkness. To be consistent with this task, calendar it each week.
- Everyday, make it a point to tell somebody something good about Jesus. What you say may be as simple as, “I’m having a good day because Jesus loves me,” or “May I tell you how God answered my prayer?” The point is this: if you speak a good word about Jesus every day (even to believers as a starting point), telling the gospel story will become more of your DNA.
Pastor, ask God to make Jesus your passion again. Pray and work so others know Him. Your church will not catch the fire of the Great Commission unless the flame first burns in you.
Originally published at Church Answers
Chuck Lawless currently serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions and Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern Seminary.
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