Do you remember a couple of weeks ago how we wrapped up that series called 8 to 15? (If you don’t remember, you can go back and listen to the talks here: http://68church.com/category/sermons/8-to-15-sermons/). Just because that series is behind us, doesn’t mean that we don’t have to think about the idea of reaching out to our 8 to 15.
In fact, it is imperative that we don’t. We need to develop a lifestyle that focuses on reaching the 8 to 15 people God has placed in our lives. We need to live our lives in such a way, that every day we are doing something to be the light of God’s love to them. Remember how we said, “When we love as God loves, we will do as God does?” That wasn’t a one time deal. That’s every day.
So our mission for this week is to pray Sun Stand Still prayers for our 8 to 15. These probably aren’t the prayers you want to share on the blog. (But, we would love it if you would take a minute and share your Sun Stand Still prayer with us at 68church.com/sunstandstill.) You wouldn’t want to embarrass them. But you should develop a lifestyle of praying for them and expecting God to create opportunities for you to invest in a relationship with them. Then, after you have invested in that relationship and love them as God loves them, then invite them to church with you.
But, we have to remember that the stuff that happens before we invite them is just as important as inviting them. Building a relationship and caring for them as people made in the image of God is vital. We cannot just see them as a target. We have to see them as a uniquely created individual – created on purpose, for a purpose.
Will you commit to praying for everyone on your 8 to 15 card every day this week? (If you don’t have a card, you can pick one up in the office. Pick one up, fill it out and put it in your bible, or a book you’re currently reading etc.) Pray for them by name, every day. Pray that God would send His Holy Spirit to open their minds, to draw them to Jesus and to turn them into Kingdom warriors.
Here’s the thing, if you don’t reach them who will? I can’t do it, I don’t know who they are. I have my own 8 to 15 that I am praying for. And I pray for them as often as I can. I pray for them by name. And then I expect and look for the opportunities that God makes for me to the light of His love to them. And you know what? He has created those opportunities. He’s actually created a lot of them. It’s been amazing to watch and be a part of.
I’ve also heard stories from others in our church who have been praying for their 8 to 15 and God has given them opportunities. If you pray for them, God will create the opportunities. And yes, God expects you do it. Not me. Not someone else who is more outgoing. He expects you to do it.
To borrow a phrase from another pastor: “Found people find people.” If you’re found, then you’ll do whatever you can to help those 8 to 15 get found to. If you don’t have the desire to reach them, then maybe you’re not found. And if you’re not found, contact me and I’ll help you get there.
Because everyone created in God’s image matters a great deal to Him. And He wants to see us all come into a saving relationship with Him.