Posted by: pastortomvabeach | July 19, 2016

Thought for the Week July 24, 2016

My dream as a church leader is to be able to see the church where I serve become a place that sees new people come to Christ literally every day. That is not something impossible because it happened in Jerusalem among a population of Romans and Jews who were actually hostile to the good news of Jesus Christ. Acts 2:47 says, the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. What would it look like if that were happening today? I don’t know but I’d like to find out.

Reggie McNeal spoke of a novel evangelism strategy in Missional Renaissance. Here is an excerpt: “Instead of having an evangelism strategy, I urge congregations and people to develop a blessing strategy. This advice is based on God’s covenant with Abraham in Genesis 12 where he makes the point of what it means to be the people of God. I usually challenge them to ‘bless three people this week.’ Then, to drive home a truth, I add, ‘and make sure one of them doesn’t deserve it!’ Of course none of us deserves it! That’s the good news of the Good News—that we get the undeserved blessings of God. We don’t own the blessings of God and we sure don’t get to decide who deserves them.

“What happens when God’s people decide to live out their covenant to bless those around them? Pretty amazing stuff. Every week I hear from someone who has come alive to this idea. When pastors tell me about being a blessing people, they comment on the new sense of life that permeates their gatherings as people share their stories.

“A guy who had attended a conference where I laid out my challenge informed me that he had decided to bless the baristas at Starbucks, since he went there every day. He told me that the staff at the coffee shop thought it was a little strange when he asked, ‘How can I ask God to bless you?’ Even though they were initially reluctant to talk to him, the employees began to seek him out on their breaks, sit with him, and open up their lives to him.

“His small church group discovered that, as a group, they were customers of every Starbucks in a thirteen block radius. They decided they would each bless the baristas in all those shops. A few weeks later he recounted an episode that happened to him. Visiting a Starbucks he didn’t normally frequent, he asked his standard question when the barista handed him his cup of coffee, whereupon she pulled the cup back and said, ‘Are you one of those blessing people?’

“When I read this, my spirit cried, ‘Yes, yes, yes!’ That’s exactly who we are. We are the people of God. We are the blessing people!”

I don’t know about you but I can’t think of a more powerful way to Make Jesus Known than becoming the blessing people. What if we took the challenge and found ways to bless at least three people every week? What if, in our daily travels, we thought of ideas and ways that we could bless someone? What would happen if we became known as the blessing people in our circles of influence? I’m ready to find out.

McNeal said one more thing that I think we need to grasp for this to really work: “To practice the blessing life, you will need to believe God, not just believe in God. There’s a huge difference between the two. Abraham just didn’t believe in God; he believed God—he staked his life on what God said. We have to believe that God has the ability to draw people to Himself through these blessing encounters and that He is always at work in the lives of people. We have to believe God enough to put Him on the line, trusting Him to show up and show off in their lives. I think God is waiting on us to do just that!”

Friends, this idea moves evangelism from what we think of as a program to a natural by-product of following Jesus. Will you take Reggie’s challenge and make it a point to bless at least three people every week? I’m going to try it and, if we all do, I’m ready for some of that pretty amazing stuff! Just a thought.

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