I met Mohammed* and Abdullah*, teenage brothers from a Muslim family, when I knocked on the front door of their home and offered to pray for them. God had been at work in their hearts, and they had already begun seeking the truth about Jesus, but I never would have met them if I hadn't stepped outside of my normal routine to intentionally engage the lost that day.
My first encounter with the brothers opened the door for us to begin studying the Word together. We studied for a few months before they trusted in Jesus and were baptized.
Sunday afternoons have since become one of my favorite times of the week, because I get to walk alongside Mohammed and Abdullah as they learn to follow Jesus. Recently, they invited a third friend to join us, and he decided to put his faith in Christ as well.
There is great joy when the Lord uses us to help shape people into His likeness.
For the last two years, some friends and I have been praying and partnering together to grow in obedience to the Great Commission. We began by carving out intentional time each week to be around unbelievers, and when we were, we simply offered prayer to them and shared the gospel using a simple tool we learned. God has been faithful to help us obey. It’s been a long process, but one that I believe has changed our lives forever.
Through this journey, we formed a ministry called Birmingham Gospel Outreach to help equip and mobilize believers to reach the lost in our city and beyond.
This new way of life has overflowed into my Small Group as well. We began practicing sharing the gospel during Small Group and holding one another accountable to sharing with the lost on a weekly basis. Working as a team, we’ve been able to share Jesus with over 135 people so far this year. We still have plenty of room to grow in becoming faithful stewards of the gospel, but we've made much progress, and it has been a joy watching these men grow in their boldness and commitment to Christ.
A huge part of the joy of disciple-making comes from doing it together. Jesus sent out the 12 and later sent the 72 in teams of two. We see throughout Acts that Paul had a team as well.
A few weeks ago, Pastor Matt encouraged us with these words:
“There is something better than going with the gospel – going with the gospel together.”
What if “doing life together” included regular time in the harvest engaging the lost?
For years, I was content just sharing the gospel occasionally with those who came across my path. The thought of seeking out lost people to share with here in Birmingham was foreign to me and, to be honest, kind of scary. And to do it frequently? I had never considered it. But after further thought, I realized we do this kind of thing on mission trips, so why don’t we do it in our own city?
Sharing the gospel in our normal spheres of influence should absolutely be part of our strategy. But what happens after we’ve reached out to those people and don’t have many more opportunities to meet new people during our normal routines?
If we want to see a big harvest, we need to sow a lot of seed, and in doing so, find who the Spirit is already working in. Imagine what might happen if we each set aside time each week to go out sharing the gospel just like we set aside time for other spiritual disciplines, like Scripture reading, prayer, worshiping on Sunday mornings, and attending a weekly small group.
When Jesus says to Peter and Andrew, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19), what was He actually doing? Yes, He was telling them what their mission would be, but I think it was more than that. I think He was sweetening the deal. Jesus always sweetens the deal! Do we believe that fishing for men is a key part of the Christian life and a privilege meant for us to enjoy?
As we celebrate the best news in the world on this Resurrection Day, let’s be a family committed to fishing for men who the Spirit has prepared, for the glory of Christ and our ultimate joy.
Just imagine what God might do among the 700,000 unbelievers in the Birmingham Metro Area if we all committed to pray and partner together to reach them. We might one day be able to say with the apostle Paul, “I no longer have any room for work in these regions” (Romans 15:23).
Let’s pray, give, and go to that end.
*Names have been changed for safety and privacy reasons.
Wesley James is a Physical Therapist living in the Hoover area and has been a member of Brook Hills since 2010. He helped form the Birmingham Gospel Outreach ministry and currently co-leads a Singles 20s/30s Small Group. In his free time, he enjoys playing sports, reading, and traveling.
If you'd like training on how to share the gospel, you can register for our Gospel Conversations Training this Saturday, April 7, at brookhills.org/gospelconversations.
Birmingham Gospel Outreach is a volunteer movement of Christ-followers committed to church mobilization, disciple multiplication, and gospel saturation throughout the Birmingham Metro area for the glory of God. For information on how to get involved, visit bhamgospeloutreach.com.