Recently in church we talked about a 24-hour day in the life of Jesus (Mark 1, Luke 4). He taught in the synagogue and cast a demon out in the morning, healed Peter’s mother-in-law that afternoon, then as the sun was setting healed people who came from all over the village who were sick and demon possessed, and then got up early the next morning to pray. Once the disciples woke up, they went looking for him, with a makes-complete-sense idea. “Come on back, Jesus. Everybody is looking for you here.”
Jesus said no. “I must preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God in other towns, too.” We talked about this in church in the US and then a few days later with a bunch of Ugandan ministry leaders. My observation is simple. Even though word spread throughout the region and people were coming, there were some who wouldn’t come, and they were just as important to Jesus. So he would go to them rather than being content with just those who were seeking him out.
This was the framework I set up the training days with in a Uganda. This particular group has studied the Bible a lot and has a lot of head knowledge, but their mindset was “Unbelievers will come to the church.” Well, like in the US, obviously that doesn’t happen very often. So the Church needs to follow Jesus’ example. There were no arguments or pushback. Until I sent them out to share stories. Which only four people did.
So the next day, I ditched the training plans and sent them out to share stories…
- An hour later, they shared of talking to a shop owner who said “I am in that story!” (paralytic lowered through roof).
- A woman in a shop talked for an hour about the sinful woman anointing Jesus’ feet and then was shocked, “That story is in my Bible?!” (She had one but had never opened it until she went to her house, brought it back and was shown this story came from Luke 7.)
- One of the women in the training cried as she said to everyone, “I have never listened to people when I share. Pastor said we have two ears and one mouth and should use them that amount. I was surprised to hear what people said as we talked about the story of the demon possessed man being set free by Jesus.”
- One pastor said, “I have not been thinking seriously of unbelievers until I talked to them today. This was my first experience talking to unbelievers.”
- One young pastor texted me, “I shared the story from Mark 2 and it was amazing! I let the Word talk and less of me. The church was noisy, but everybody was learning together.”
Jesus sought out people. It was not only his strategy, it was his heart. Thanks for being part of seeing people follow Jesus’ example.