Taking the first step in leading others to share their faith
Willing men inspire fear.
The one thing Satan fears more than any other is a man of God who’s willing to say two little words each day: “Use me.” As leaders, we especially grab the enemy’s attention when God burdens us to begin inviting others to explore a relationship with Christ. Satan will stop at nothing to keep us from fusing these two little words in our prayers; he knows he needs to keep them separate in leaders’ lives. Using something else is much better, he’ll say to us—people, substances, credit cards, false motivations, feelings. Using these things now is optimal.
If the enemy can make us a dedicated user, distracting our lives and minds with other things, he knows we won’t be available for God to use us. So go on, he says, use, abuse and blow a fuse! Satan would love to decommission you, dishonorably discharge you and destroy your availability to lead and be used by God.
The “me” part of “use me” is potentially just as good a derailment (if not better). It diverts our attention away from others and their need to know Christ by putting the focus on No. 1.
“What about me?”
“They’re all following me!”
“What’s in it for me?”
If Satan can’t turn us into users, he’ll exploit our self-centered nature, enticing us into self-absorption. When it comes to sharing your faith and leading others to share their faith, self-centeredness over others-centeredness helps him breathe a little easier. Focusing on you and your needs obscures your view. You begin to overlook or not see the people in your life who need Christ. C’mon, Satan says to us, why even risk it? What were you thinking, anyway? How does talking to them help you? Forget about it.
In the natural realm, when we as leaders do put these two words together and speak them sincerely to God, it may seem mundane. But in the spiritual world, huge repercussions take place:
Willingness on the part of God’s leaders to share the gospel is weapons-grade plutonium in spiritual warfare—the final ingredient that makes a nuclear impact possible. Telling someone else about the Lord requires humility and faith, the two most powerful agents of spiritual conductivity. God’s power flows most deeply through you when you leave the shores of safe, spiritual spin for the unpredictable rapids of evangelism.
Your spiritual life comes full circle when you’re willing to give away the same news you received and accepted yourself—and lead others to follow your example. You’ve risked combining responsibility with a willing availability to speak about Him. And once God’s man experiences His power in this way, no other experience can compare.
Kenny Luck is a men’s expert: speaker, author, founder and president of Every Man Ministries and the men’s pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., where 7,000 men participate in weekly small group gatherings. He has authored and coauthored 20 books, including his most recent title, Sleeping Giant: No Movement of God Without Men of God (B&H). For more information, go to everymanministries.com. Follow Luck on Twitter @Kenny_Luck and on Facebook at facebook.com/KennyLuck.
The Holy Spirit’s clues will lead you to the lost and needy
The clues on our treasure map led us to a home improvement store, where we began looking for our treasure—someone with “red hair,” “headache,” “Ralph,” and “back problem” were among our clues.
Immediately, I noticed a woman with red hair. As I approached her and her husband, I asked, “Hey, do you by any chance have a headache?” She responded, “As a matter of fact I do!”
She was visibly shocked that I had this inside information. After explaining that God had clearly highlighted her on my treasure map, she agreed to let us pray for her even though she adamantly stated that she was not a Christian.
After a short prayer, her headache vanished and she started to cry, overwhelmed that God would care enough about her to send us to help her. She then asked Jesus into her life right there in the middle of the aisle, while her husband stood at a distance in obvious disgust.
Seek the best for your community and see your influence grow
Imagine a church of 850 in attendance winning nearly 2,000 people to the Lord in the space of just 12 months. In addition, imagine that church being featured in Charisma magazine as one of the fastest-growing churches in the nation. Imagine this church had been stuck at a plateau for over three years. Sound unimaginable? That’s exactly what happened to my church in 2009-2010.
When our church was at a plateau, I become weary in attempting to motivate my congregation to regularly evangelize. Some responded, but I didn’t get the results I was looking for. I couldn’t understand why most wouldn’t or just didn’t. I needed a unique strategy for our house.
First, I began to focus on increasing their love quotient. I believe evangelism flows best out of a heart overflowing with love for the Lord. So, I talked more about God’s attributes and personality—attempting to cause their hearts to soar. I motivated the church to focus on intense prayer, asking the Lord to mark each heart with His presence.
Why Jesus wasn’t big on asking unbelievers to follow Him to church
Growing up, I was not too interested in church or religion. When I became a teenager, I was invited a few times by Christian classmates to attend their church youth group activities and Bible studies. I was pretty good at saying no. I was not ready to dive into their world. However, I couldn’t keep them from diving into mine.
I am forever grateful that Ron Musselman, the First Presbyterian youth pastor, did not just invite me into his church world; he jumped into my not-so-churchy world. Ron engaged my culture and my community because I was not interested in engaging his.
Jesus gave the greatest demonstration of engaging culture and community when He left the streets of gold in heaven to walk the dirt roads of the Roman Empire. Showing up was just the beginning. While here, He was the expert at engaging all types of cultures and communities that were disenfranchised by the religious elite.
How we can remember ‘the forgotten’ among us, even as our churches grow
But He needed to go through Samaria” (John 4:4). In Jesus’ time, Samaria represented a land of cultural difference and prejudice for many Jews—a land they’d rather go around. I believe our cities and towns too have “a land we’d rather go around.” Jesus’ conviction was clear: He had to go through Samaria. And I believe that as His body, so must we.
For years I felt I had nothing to offer people unlike me. Because of my upper-middle-class upbringing and the fact that I pastored a church full of people who looked like me, I was led to believe that I was incapable of being used by God to make an impact in a different cultural context in our city.