Mission Moment

Pastor Bryce Formwalt
Director of Mission Growth

Live on Purpose

“How many souls have you won for Christ?” That question was recently posed by one of our pastors to a group of colleagues to begin what ended up being a very lively conversation on evangelism and discipleship.  This question is not often discussed by Lutherans and the terminology tends to make us a bit uncomfortable.  In our good Lutheran theology, we understand that a person coming to Christ does not happen apart from the work of the Holy Spirit, so we tend therefore to not see ourselves as responsible for such a victory. But it made me wonder if the same thinking might have led many of us to forget that we do have a responsibility as followers of Jesus.  In Acts 1:8, Jesus sends his disciples with the command to be his witnesses to the ends of the earth.  And while we don’t have the power to “bring” someone to faith, we do have a role to play in others coming to Jesus.

I believe the key for most of us is we need pause and think about living our lives for a greater purpose.  As followers of Jesus, we have a calling to live with an intentionality in our relationships.  Each relationship represents the opportunity to bear witness to Christ and the grace and mercy that our Lord and Savior has given his life for.

And it can be as simple as paying closer attention to the people that God has already brought into your life.  Think for a moment about all of the people that you know that you don’t know about their faith lives.  Don’t know any non-believers?  Then get to know some.  Begin with your neighbors or co-workers, or start befriending employees of businesses you frequent.  We can all do a better job of befriending the 85+% of the population who don’t attend worship in a week!

Next, pray to God for opportunities to love these people with a Christ-like love.  Pray for open doors to begin spiritual conversations.  And don’t forget that we believe in a God that can transform lives, so be sure to include those people who you might first write off as lost causes.  We cannot forget that we ourselves are our own lost causes in need of God’s grace just as much as the next person!

Not sure what to say? Get some help.  Be sure to turn to God in prayer for the words and don’t be afraid to ask others for help.  Talk with your pastor and other brothers and sisters in Christ for ideas on how to share the Gospel.  I highly recommend Bill Hybel’s book, Just Walk Across the Room, as a guide to relational evangelism. But most of all, make a commitment to God and yourself to live your life with a greater intentionality and purpose: to be a witness for Christ in all of your relationships.  While it is indeed by God’s grace and power that anyone comes to faith in Jesus, as his followers we also have a responsibility and therefore we share in the joy of victory of souls won for Christ!