Trinity's strategy for outreach
I was asked recently, “Trinity is obviously growing, so what is your strategy for outreach?” And I believe the answer is three basic aspects of our culture. We want to know the Gospel. We believe we need the Gospel. And we seek to be related to people in our city who do not yet know Jesus.
We want to know the Gospel: The story of God’s work to save sinners like us through Jesus is at the heart of all our hope. It’s the story of the entire Bible. It’s the centerpiece of every sermon. And it’s the best news I will hear (or rehearse) today. The Gospel is simply that because of our rebellion against God – who is holy, incomparable and irreplaceable – we are guilty, ruined and helpless to remedy what’s wrong. But God, in Christ, came to do what no one else would do (suffer to save His enemies) and to do what no one else could do (only the offended party can truly forgive). Now we are called to turn away from every other (inadequate) savior and trust Jesus as our God & Savior. You can read a basic summary here.
We believe we need the Gospel: We do not believe that there are other people in our city or church who are worse than we are. Because the Gospel reveals our rebellion – our blasphemy of asserting ourselves as god, and our treason for trying to unseat the True God – we realize that we are the biggest sinners we know. We do not ever want to convey any sense that other people are bigger sinners than we are. So, this makes us constitutionally humble, especially when we share the Gospel. It is not a message of “We are right! Quit being wrong and become like us!!” Rather, it’s the miraculous message that “We have been horribly, tragically wrong! And yet Jesus has come to love and save people like us, so you can trust Jesus’ Grace.”
And we seek to be related in our city: The story of the Gospel starts with God leaving the comfort of His home (heaven) in order to relate to us in the mess (the stench and sewage) of our sin. So, He pursued us. He took the initiative (He always does – we believe in His sovereign Grace). And so, the pattern Jesus set is that we would leave comfort in order to love others who are what we have been – broken, guilty and longing for hope and real love. This means hospitality, generosity, caring for people in need and inviting them into our homes, community groups or even our church. We do not want to live in a cocoon of Christians. Yes, we need other believers, but our mission calls us to leave comfort behind in order to love others the way Jesus has loved us.
Things to pray for:
- Vision. Ask the Lord to give you eyes to see and ears to hear the scores of people in our area who do not yet know Jesus.
- Love. Ask the Holy Spirit to bear in us the fruit of love, especially for those who do not yet trust in Jesus.
- Courage. Pray that the Father would give us such a profound sense of security in His grace that we would be willing to take great risks, to give and sacrifice eagerly to advance His Kingdom.
- Renew Polk. Pray that the Lord would protect, sustain and bless our efforts to plant churches throughout our area. As Jesus called us to in Matthew 9, ask the Father to raise up workers for this harvest.