Our way or God’s way By Richard Harris
Some may remember the song “My Way,” written by Paul Anka and popularized by Frank Sinatra. Anka wrote the song as an unapologetic summary of Sinatra’s career. The lyrics recount a selfish, self-centered, macho determination to live life according to his own agenda. To this day the song often evokes strong emotions and even anger from listeners.
This approach is contrary to the Christian life outlined in Scripture. Paul told the Galatian Christians, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me…” (Galatians 2:20 NIV). We cannot live a life in keeping with our Heavenly Father’s agenda and still do it our way.
Our North American missionaries and chaplains could never accomplish all that they do without first deciding to be on God’s agenda and not their own. These wonderful servants willingly make sacrifices and step out of their comfort zones for the sake of the gospel! They are gladly living an unhindered life of service and devotion to God while epitomizing Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV), “Let us throw off everything that hinders…Let us fix our eyes on Jesus...”
NAMB missionaries have recently joined our partners in implementing Across North America, the 2010 evangelism initiative of GPS: God’s Plan for Sharing. The media theme for this initiative is “Find It Here.” Many state conventions have adopted this theme, while others have customized the theme or even developed their own to fit their outreach efforts. Southern Baptists have stepped out of the pew and into neighborhoods to prepare and deliver millions of information packets to homes, apartments and multihousing units across the United States and Canada. By delivering both a printed and verbal witness in communities where they live, Christians have been able to establish a personal relationship with many of the lost and unchurched. Invitations were extended for people to attend local worship services on Easter as the special, honored guests of church members.
Glowing reports have been received testifying to the effectiveness of this special evangelism emphasis. Some indicate having made contact with as many as 50 to 75 percent of the residents in their area. By undergirding efforts with prayer vigils and prayerwalking, these sowing and cultivating strategies have increased the spiritual harvest. Hundreds have been saved, and thousands have engaged or re-engaged with the Lord’s church for the first time in years.
Multitudes of Southern Baptists have gotten “off their seats and into the streets” to touch their communities with the gospel. As church members proactively engage their communities, they are often pleasantly surprised with the receptivity of individuals. It requires a selfless commitment to run our Father’s agenda, as outlined in the Great Commission, to accomplish so much for the Kingdom. Great sacrifices were required to reach into the diversity of communities, people groups, religious and/or non-religious beliefs to implement Across North America, but the increase in laborers engaging lostness has resulted in a significant increase in the harvest.
To all SBC members, churches, and associational and state leaders who modeled an attitude of selflessness and “God’s will be done” rather than an “I did it my way” approach to life, I say a heartfelt thank you for implementing Across North America by doing it “His way” and leaving such a Christ-honoring legacy.
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and theAnnie Armstrong Easter Offering® ©Copyright 2013 North American Mission Board, SBC