I love looking for things. I have always loved word searches as a kid. I loved “Where’s Waldo”. [If you don’t know what this is Google it or ask someone in their 30’s or 40’s.] I love those pictures where there are two different images depending on how you look at it (I can always see both images). And since I was a little girl I have loved looking for shells at the beach. Not just any shells but special shells. Beautiful shells. Whole shells that are rare finds.
Yesterday could be the best day of shell hunting in my entire life because in one walk on the beach in Hilton Head I found a whole starfish and 3 sand dollars! There were so many sand dollars on the beach after three I just stopped picking them up. I have never found a starfish in my life and only one other time was I able to find sand dollars. Shell hunters on North Carolina beaches know that these days you mostly find shell pieces or run of the mill, dime a dozen, plane shells. Nothing special, boring shells. Or shell fragments.
This week I am with the Reynolds LEAD Academy (Leadership, Evangelism and Discipleship) learning from Kevin Myers, founder of 12 Stone Church in Atlanta. He talked today about leaders and how whatever is in you comes out of you- either fear or faith. What is in you is what you breathe into your congregation. If you carry fear internally you breathe it externally and don’t even know it. If you carry faith you breathe it externally. If you carry a love for the lost you breathe it externally.
He also said if pastors don’t weep for the those far from Jesus then why would we expect our congregations to shed a tear. It’s so true. And far too many of us pastors have not shed a tear ourselves for those far from Jesus.
As I consider my beach finds and my love for finding lost things, I realize that I do shed tears for those who don’t know who Jesus is and don’t have the peace of Christ in their hearts. I long for our churches (mine included) to care about those who do not have a relationship with Jesus. I hope others will join me in looking for things that are lost, most especially de-churched or un-churched brothers and sisters. And may we breathe a desire to seek and search into the heart of our communities. I believe this is Biblical. (Luke 15)