One example that comes to my mind is the whole concept of being "lost." This is a term that I still use regularly to refer to "a person who has never trusted Jesus into his or her life to forgive their sins, be the Lord over their lives, and possess the assurance of heaven." Every where I turn nowadays I am being told that I cannot call lost people "lost" because it might damage their self-esteem and their personal feelings toward the church. To that I say, "Are you kidding me?" I am told that in my backwards way of thinking I need to start using the terminology that is more suiting and pleasing to people in our world who are "lost." Words such as "unreached, unchurched, unassimilated, disconnected, seeker, or nonfellowshipped" are the buzz words of our day in the church culture.
The other day I could not find my best Craftsman (c) screwdriver to hang my wife's new curtains. That Phillips head screwdriver is important to me for accomplishing my mission of hanging curtains. To fulfill my mission I had to find the screwdriver. Why did I need to find it? Because it was LOST! You see it did not know it was lost. It was created for a specific purpose, but was not experiencing the joy of fulfilling it's purpose because it was lost. The screwdriver was not "seeking" to be found. I would not describe it as being "out of fellowship" with the other screwdrivers. It was not just "untoolboxed." In fact it was not "unreached" because the fact is I couldn't reach out and take hold of it because the plain and simple fact was that IT WAS LOST! What a dilemma!
Because it was lost and was not fulfilling the mission for which it was created and more specifically my mission of hanging curtains, I made a life-changing, mind-blowing, counter culture decision that day. I decided that because it was lost that I would be the "seeker" and I would go and search for it in order to find it and use it for its created purpose! I know what you are thinking...Hallmark is a radical...He's intolerant of the other brand of screwdrivers that were still sitting in the toolbox...He is way out there on a limb all alone in this world filled with curtains that are not hung. When I got up and searched for the lost screwdriver, guess what? I FOUND IT! YAY! That which was lost was found...I rejoiced...I called out to my wife and my daughter and I said, "My screwdriver which was lost has been found! Let's have a fattening Snickers (c) bar to celebrate!" I took the screwdriver which had been found and I hung the curtains, thus fulfilling my mission. At the end of the day, the screwdriver which had been lost was found and back in "fellowship" with all the other screwdrivers in the toolbox. My wife was happy the curtains were hung, and I had the pleasure of being a huge part in fulfilling the mission.
What is the issue? The issue is this: These people all around us who do not know Jesus are LOST. This is how Jesus would describe them (see the parables of Luke 15). I had to get up from the comfort of my chair to actively go to where the lost was in order to find it. Like the screwdriver, these people all around us without Jesus may not know they are lost and because of that they may not be "seekers" wanting to be found. Therefore, we must go to where they are, find them, and help them understand how their created made them for a purpose...a mission. When we do this we have the joy of knowing we are fulfilling out own mission for our creator!
Jesus said, "...the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few...(Matthew 9:37)."