Nearly three years ago when we launched CCA I asked our staff a pivotal question, “Who is going to feel the most comfortable here?” We determined and acknowledged that every church in our region serves a purpose and that the Kingdom is diverse and should be. But settling who we were up front and sticking to it would be the most important decision we would probably ever make. Our proximity to the University of Florida makes our region a very unique place and as you can imagine, extremely unchurched. For most here, they have categorized and cancelled church so our goal was to create an environment where those who are curious, but not yet convinced, would feel comfortable. We have learned many lessons and will learn many more but here are 6 reasons to NOT be intentional about reaching the lost.
1. If you don’t want to experience miracles- God has surprised me over and over again at what He is doing in peoples lives. From home wreckers to homosexuals, from atheists to alcoholics, it has been more than I had ever hoped to observe. When we made it about loving people where they are and letting God change them in His time to where He wants them to be we began to see some serious miracles.
2. If you like having lots of Pharisees around- Religious people have no tolerance for these environments and will naturally gravitate to churches where people talk about reaching the lost but never take big risks to do it. When there isn’t a large enough vision to capture the hearts of the people usually DI-VISION will be the result.
3. If you enjoy preaching to theologians- I love theology but soon realized my style of communication had to shift a bit to create the opportunity for those far from God to connect with Him in a significant way. It has been well said that communicators take the complex and make it simple, while educators take the simple and make it complex.
4. If you are convinced they will eventually filter in over time- It’s simple. They won’t.
5. If you don’t ever want to be challenged personally to change- This is my eighteenth year of ministry and I’ve never been challenged like I am right now. God has dealt with me about things that I never could have imagined and it feels good. It feels right. I want Him to do in me what’s right to Him not what’s comfortable to me.
6. If you believe the Great Commission was the great suggestion- This isn’t about style or flavor or how you dress. It’s about letting the things that break His heart break ours. It really is an attitude that believes people without Him will be lost forever. This stirs my spirit and I pray it stirs yours as well.