“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10)

“Seek and Save the Lost” … that was the theme of this year’s Pacific Southwest District Pastors’ Conference in Scottsdale, AZ.  You might be thinking “isn’t that always the theme?” Well, you would hope so.  But as we all learn in life, often the busyness of the day crowds out the more important things that should be occupying our time.  It happens.  It happens in our families, at our workplaces, and even in our churches!  And so pastors and ministry leaders need to be reminded – and refocused – on what is our central mission and our primary concern.

What is our primary concern?  To answer that, we simply consider what concerned Jesus.  He told us what His own mission for coming into the world was – “to seek and save the lost.” (Luke 19:10)  And then, when He returned to the Father, He commissioned us to carry on His ministry of seeking and saving the lost as He told us to “make disciples of all nations!” (Mt. 28:19).

Often in ministry we can lose sight of this “main thing” as we get caught up on the myriad of details involved in maintaining ministries and programs.  It’s good to be redirected back to our mission and purpose.  This was the theme at the two conferences I attended in the last week of September and the first week of October.  You can read some more “take home” messages from those conferences in this blog post: Wiki and District Conference Highlights.  To me, however, when God speaks the same message at two different conferences, it means that He’s trying to get my attention!

I believe God wants to wake up His Church to the fact that there are thousands of people dying each day that do not know Christ and have no hope of heaven.  No longer can we stay in the comforts of home and in the safety of our churches.  We certainly should (and must!) use these places for rest and healing, but once rejuvenated and equipped, we must return to the harvest fields – where the lost and the hurting are.  No longer can we wait and hope that they will find their way to us to hear the gospel; we must take the gospel to them!

To those in the gated communities around our church – we must go.  To those from foreign lands who now call our community home – we must go.  To those who are spending hours searching the internet for truth – we must go.  To those of the next generation who see the church as irrelevant – we must go.  To the lost and the hurting – we must go.  For all these, we have the healing balm of Christ and the life-giving Word to share.  Let us no longer wait for them to come … but go out and “Seek and Save the Lost!”   In Christ’s Name.