Ordinary Attempts – Who Jesus Misses Most
Key Bible Verse: “Heaven will be happier over one lost sinner who returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!” – Luke 15:7
Bonus Reading: Luke 15:1-7
I wanted the people in my church to want to be with “lost” people, not out of a sense of duty, but of adventure and partnership with God. I wanted them to love people who didn’t know Jesus, not to be mad at them for not wanting to come to church. I wanted to change our perception of those we typically treat as outsiders. I hoped that people in the congregation would experiment with finding new ways of connecting with them. I wanted Christians to blur the lines between “us” and “them” the same way Jesus did.
I had a problem more of perception than of motivation. I needed to help Christians reimagine who they were trying to connect with. We needed to overhaul how Christians perceive non-Christians. So my congregation and I decided to rename those we wanted to connect with. We tried out all sorts of new terms to substitute for the lost. The one that proved the “stickiest” was missing persons.
When you change their name, you change how you feel about them. Since in reality we do what we feel, not what we think, this small change proves to be very helpful in getting all of us back into the game of nudging people across the starting line toward Jesus.
—Jim Henderson in a.k.a. “Lost”
My Response: I’ll ask God to forgive me for assuming that I’m superior to “the lost.”
Thought to Apply: Missing people aren’t bad; they’re just not where they’re supposed to be.—Brian McLaren (pastor)
Adapted from a.k.a. “Lost” (WaterBrook, 2005)
Prayer for the Week: Lord, I want to come across to others not as religious so much as real. Help me make being Your disciple look inviting.