This week marks the beginning of the 26-week series "Arrows of Truth: Hunters Tips" to help equip you to engage/restore dropout believers in your own sphere of influence: family members, friends, neighbors, work associates. Stay tuned every week!
Arrows of Truth # 1
What is a dropout believer? If you are a Christian or Christian leader active in the local church in the Western world this series is directed to you. The Western church includes North America, Latin America, and Europe. Since you are active in the local church, you have seen the problem of the western church firsthand. Very simply, the dropout believer once actively practiced his Christian faith in a community of believers, but no longer. They have disconnected themselves from any meaningful relationship with the church – the Body of Christ. There are a variety of reasons for this, none of which are in line with God's will and purpose for them.
Some may counter upon reading this series that there are good reasons why they don't go to a church – that is, a community of believers according to Acts 2:42. We all know that the western church has in many respects fallen short - way short - of the purposes of Jesus for His Body. That's not new folks -just look at the ungodly state of 5 of the 7 early churches in Revelation 2,000 years ago! But every believer has to remember this: Jesus said "I will build my church and the gates of hell will NOT prevail against it"! Do you believe that?!
So, ultimately, any rationale a dropout believer has about the state of the church (whether big, little, mega, doctrine...) doesn't hold water as justification for willful disconnection from it. In fact, some of those who are dropouts have the very gifts and insights that the church needs to move forward into God's purposes today!! Once a dropout is healed and restored to the church s/he actually can begin to have a Godly influence upon it. Wow!
This is not to say that every church is suited for you. God has a very particular place for each believer/family. He will direct you to the church community suited to you and His purposes. Back to the dropout. Consider people in your own circle of influence. Are some of your family members dropout believers? Friends? Neighbors? Work associates?
Think of two or three people that you are concerned about that are dropout believers. You may be the believer whom God can use to help restore them to the body of Christ. We say guardedly, may be.
Hunters Tip #1
Consider and write down those two or three names that came to mind today. Begin to pray for them to ask God to prepare their hearts for restoration. Keep these in mind over the coming weeks as we explore the Hunters strategy together. At the end of these 26 weeks you will have a divine strategy that can make you an effective Hunter for the dropout believers in your sphere of influence!
For more depth on this read the Hunters of the Harvest book: chapter 2. To order the ministry book go to www.huntersoftheharvest.org and click Order.
Louis Posthauer is the executive director of Hunters of the Harvest. He has been actively involved in the local church for 38 years and currently serves as a lay leader and teacher at Living Word Church of the Nazarene in Houston. For more information: HuntersOfTheHarvest.org