Pastor Letter: April 5, 2018
Dear Buck Run Family:
Do you have a top five “most wanted” list? A place on my most wanted list usually entails two factors: this is a person I really desire to see come to faith in Christ, and this is a person who seems highly unlikely to do so. I keep a separate list for others that I very much want to see come to Christ, and their salvation seems possible, even probable. That is my list for “gesticulation,” the people whom I detect are under conviction or are regularly exposed to the Gospel and seem to be leaning in. It seems just a matter of time until they put their trust in Jesus.
My most wanted list are the people in my life who have, in one way or another, told me that they will never trust Jesus, that they have no interest or intention of ever becoming a Christian. In fact, several of them have stated exactly that. Some of them are members of another world religion, some are atheists, and some have walked away from the church in disappointment and hurt because of the way “Christians” act or treated them.
Everyone should have a most wanted list, but whoever has such a collection of names needs to be prepared to maintain it for years, even decades. I am happy to say that I have had the joy of seeing several who occupied a high place on that list become followers of Jesus. Prayer works . . . because the God of prayer works. Seeing God answer your prayer and save someone for whom you have prayed for years is one of the greatest joys of life.
So I am giving you an assignment. Write out two lists of lost people for whom you will pray. On the first list put the names of lost people for whom you have great hope. Grandchildren who attend church and Sunday School, a neighbor who has been attending church lately or seems particularly interested in the gospel, or a coworker who has recently gone through a divorce and is asking a lot of questions about Jesus. Use this list for people in whom you see God working and believe it’s just a matter of time and the work of the Holy Spirit. Pray for them faithfully. Witness to them. Then pray some more.
But make another list, your own curation of names for whom, humanly speaking, you have no expectation that they would ever trust Jesus. They worship another God or insist that no god exists. They worship nature or revel in a completely self-centered and hedonistic lifestyle. They swear that they will never set foot in church again, or perhaps they spend Sundays with a hangover and an opioid stupor. Put the hardest, most unlikely converts on this list.
Once you have your list, begin to pray. Pray daily or every other day, or weekly, however frequently you want, but make it a regular and disciplined part of your life. However often you pray for them, pray also that the Lord would give you insight and wisdom about how to reach them. Yield yourself to the Lord as you pray. Surrender to be a part of a divine conspiracy and a redemptive plot to save them. Tell the Lord that you are willing to do anything to reach them. Don’t just pray, “God save them.” Pray that the Lord would use YOU to reach them.
When Buck Run members begin to live and to pray like that, God will transform our church like never before. If you think moving into a new building changed us, wait until you see what begging God for the lost will do.
Your praying pastor,