Look for the Lydias

April 8, 2019

Paul and Silas were some of the very first missionaries of the gospel. They traveled to the people of Macedonia in Acts 16. Upon arriving, they made their way outside the city gate toward the river, looking for a place of prayer. It was there that they encountered a group of women. One of the women was named Lydia, whose heart was open to hearing the message Paul shared with her. She is thought to be the first believer in Europe — the beginning of a movement that resulted in the church at Philippi. This church became key in Paul’s ministry.

Reaching the unexpected
What stands out in this encounter is the intentionality of these men to reach someone unexpected. Not only did Paul and Silas venture out of Palestine into Europe, they left the place of prayer to spend time with a group of women. Stepping out of what was familiar, they began a movement that led to the spread of the gospel in Europe.

As churches, we often get caught up in reaching people who look like us and act like us. Perhaps we reach out to people who have a basic understanding of Christianity, but not to people who seem too far removed. We pick and choose who would fit best in our churches and communities based on what we see. It might be easier to talk to people who already know who Jesus is, but God calls us to more than reaching the easy-to-reach. Jesus spent time with the sinners, the outcasts and those forgotten by the most religious of His time. In John 20:21 He tells us, “As the Father has sent Me, even so I am sending you.”

When we build relationships with only those like us we miss the Lydias of our day. We overlook the people whose hearts may be ready to hear about God’s great love for all of us, and instead continue to toil in ground that has already seen a clear gospel influence. By not responding to the opportunities God has placed in our daily lives and in the areas around our church buildings, we miss the enrichment it could bring to our ministries, our congregations and our lives.

Meet them at the riverside
Today you may not meet your Lydia on the literal banks of a river, but your Lydia might be in the mobile home community down the road or the apartment complex you pass on your way to worship each week. You might meet them at the local fast-food joint, struggling to feed their family. They may not look exactly like you, but they desperately need the freeing truth of the gospel in their life.They are desperate for freedom from the weight of sin, but how will they hear it if those who have the good news of the gospel never go out of their way to share it with those who don’t?

Ask God to open your eyes to the Lydias and don’t be afraid to meet them at the riverside. You may be surprised by the way God uses you to make an eternal impact.


by Kailyn Eskridge 
Strategic Focus Team  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

Board approves annual meeting change, budget recommendation

The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSCNC) 2020 annual meeting will be held Tuesday, Nov. 10, from 1-5 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C., following a vote of the convention’s board of directors.The board voted unanimously to change the time and place of...

Capps elected board president

Matt Capps, senior pastor of Fairview Baptist Church in Apex, was elected president of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSCNC) board of directors during a meeting held Monday, Sept. 28, at Caraway Conference Center near Asheboro. Capps was nominated by state...

How to use your community’s ‘third places’ for the gospel

The coronavirus pandemic has caused a bit of a shake-up. But one thing that has become evident from this experience is the fact that the church is not a building, and it is not a program. We are the church, and we are called to love and serve both those who are inside and outside...

‘Reimagine’ resource addresses today’s realities, tomorrow’s possibilities

How does your church see this COVID moment? On a recent webcast by the Barna Group titled “Caring for Souls in a New Reality,” panelists posed the question, “Is this an interruption or a disruption?” An interruption means that this is only a temporary interference in our lives,...

Think like a missionary

How can I think like a missionary?Missionaries live with a deep love and compassion for those who are far from God. They are burdened for those who are lost — those who are like sheep without a shepherd. They live by the words of Jesus when He said, “I have other sheep that are...

Why crisis & unrest should point us to prayerful hope in Christ

If ever there was a time when believers and churches needed to focus on God’s great hope in Jesus, it is now. The COVID-19 pandemic — along with all the racial, social, political, economic and spiritual unrest that has gripped our nation — has, in many ways, cast a cloud of...

Saved from war, man from Congo planting church in Raleigh

Rufus Muhirwe is tall, thin and soft-spoken. Look at this gentle man and you would never guess the years-long nightmare he endured before coming to Raleigh, N.C. He found that God was with him through those years. And the fact that Muhirwe is planting a new church is a testimony...

How families can mentor families to make disciples at home

There is an old saying, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” What if we took this same approach in discipling our families. No doubt, you have families in your church who are doing a phenomenal job discipling their...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

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

Stay connected by signing up for the N.C. Baptist monthly newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!