Impacting lostness in the triangle

September 11, 2017

A discussion on impacting lostness in the Triangle must begin with the question, “What does God desire?” 1 Timothy 2:3-4 tells us that God desires that all people be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. Is God’s desire our desire? If so then we must ask ourselves how many people in the Triangle need to be saved.

Statistics tell us that there are more than 2 million people living in the Triangle. Of those residents it is estimated that 70 percent (1.4 million) are far from God and not willing to come to a church service if invited. In 2010, it was documented that more than 50 percent considered themselves “non-religious” and nearly 10 percent identified with a religion other than Christianity.

In the past seven years, both of these numbers have outpaced the growth of evangelical Christians in the Triangle. Also, we have yet to consider how many individuals identify as “Christian” might not actually be born again followers of Jesus walking in obedience to His commands.

After engaging hundreds of people over the past couple of years, I actually think the 70 percent statistic regarding those far from God is too low. You can have the best preaching, music, programs and buildings in Raleigh and not impact the majority of those in the community within walking distance of your church building.

Now, we must pause for a second and admit that these numbers pale in comparison to cities in countries like India. We must continue to emphasize, and go to such places. However, those of us who live and minister in the Triangle must take these numbers into consideration. While what we have been doing will reach 30 percent of the population, we must recognize that our cities and our context is changing.

The task is great, but God has done greater things before. In Acts 19:8-10, Paul is able to declare that in two years the gospel had been proclaimed throughout all of Asia (8-15 million people).

What is it going to take to see this in the Triangle? Are you willing to die for this? What is your church’s role? Is it willing to let go of treasured and comforting traditions for the sake of impacting lostness? We cannot keep doing what we are doing. Something has to change.

As we consider the great task of impacting lostness in the Triangle, we must first go to the Bible. The patterns of Jesus, Paul and the New Testament church are clear.

First, they committed themselves to prayer and fasting. Every day at 10:02 a.m. thousands of people across the world pray Luke 10:2. We pray that Jesus will raise up more laborers for the harvest. One can start by simply joining us in this prayer.

Second, they went to those who are far from God.

Third, they proclaimed the gospel when they were with those far from God.

Fourth, they took those who responded to the gospel and taught them to obey all that Christ commanded (discipleship).

Fifth, they gathered these individuals together for the sake of worship, care, accountability, teaching, prayer and mission.

And finally, they invested in, trained, empowered and released leaders who shepherded these new flocks and ensured that this biblical pattern for impacting lostness continued.

Every disciple of Jesus has the responsibility to honestly assess where he or she is in this process and begin laboring where they are. For many it will be simply making a list of those far from God and beginning to pray and fast for their salvation.

by Justin White  /  Contributing Writer  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

4 realities regarding the mission of God

Oftentimes, the mission of God doesn’t seem to match our conveniently constructed models. In Acts 8:26-40, we catch a glimpse of how God brings about what He has promised is going to happen in Revelation 5:9-10. God orchestrated circumstances in such a way that Phillip and the Ethiopian eunuch met on a desert road to bring about His will, and He continues to do so today for the same purposes. But we also see some things about this mission that are often missed, or even rejected, in the West. In this passage we see four realities regarding the mission of God that must be embraced in order to stay faithful to the mission.

4 steps to engage your community

During the process of reaching the community around us, we must each move from thinking like a missionary to engaging like one. While it can be intimidating to make the transition from theory and strategy to actually entering the lives of people, it is well worth it. To make this transition, there are four characteristics we must embrace.

3 hurdles in sharing the gospel

In the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil, Haitian hurdler Jeffrey Julmis shot out of the blocks quickly, only to hit the first hurdle and fall to the ground. While certainly embarrassed, Julmis could have easily walked off without completing the race. Instead, he got up and finished, successfully jumping over the remaining hurdles. That hurdle did not stop him from finishing the race — that’s what he was there to do.

Living in response to the gospel

Thinking like a missionary is a reasonable service proposition (Romans 12:1). It isn’t extreme in light of what Christ has done for us. Following Jesus might seem radical or extreme at the outset, but once the initial step has been made the missionary mindset follows naturally.

Why ‘Who’s Your One’ matters to groups

“Who’s Your One?” may be the most significant initiative Southern Baptists have ever undertaken. What would it look like if you utilized a strategy that got your groups on and off campus involved in “Who’s Your One?” as a group strategy?

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the latest news and event information by signing up for the N.C. Baptist newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!