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10 Nuggets Worth Learning from Mel and Nolan and their Friend John!

You read last week the story of Mel and Nolan and their friend John.

John wasn’t sure God existed. He definitely didn’t believe God cared. John was alone. He didn’t trust the church. Enter 1000YL Mel and Nolan. They notice John. Sense the prompting of God. Genuine in their friendship. They become good news to John and begin to share Good News.

The story is not finished yet!

Here are 10 nuggets worth learning. Most are obvious. You’ve thought them yourself!

  1. John wasn’t going to go to your church. Any church. He hated church.
  2. If Mel and Nolan don’t go to John, there’s no Gospel witness to John. And maybe no Gospel witness between here and eternity unless God sends another.
  3. Mel and Nolan simply started paying attention to, and praying for, the people in their lives. Where they live, work and play. They didn’t do anything unusual or uncomfortable…or particularly time consuming.
  4. They followed something similar to the BLESS acronym that you could follow, too.
    • B            Begin with prayer
    • L            Listen… to their story
    • E            Eat with them
    • S            Serve John. Helped carry in groceries
    • S            Share. For John it started with “can we pray for you”.
  5. 65-year-old John was an unlikely. (They’d been training to reach their own generation!)
  6. You could go one of two ways with Mel and Nolan:
    • Overlook it. It wasn’t big. It won’t bend the statistical trend. John is just John. (Jesus spoke of just one…lost sheep, lost son, lost coin…Luke 15.).
    • OR, Embrace it. Replicate it. Multiply it. Capture its simplicity. Assume that God can work in people’s lives when you and people in your congregation make yourselves available.
  7. 65-year-old John is one of the 75% of Americans down on the church; many with no faith in Jesus. Congregations that fail to build relational bridges and wait for them to come to church will likely have a short lifespan and a limited mission impact.
  8. This is not the domain of pastors alone. The Mission of God has been entrusted to the baptized people of God.
  9. Let’s be honest… What they did? You thought: “I could do that, too.”
  10. The Gospel has historically spread through relationships. Where there are no relationships…there is no spread.

So, most churches today are

              …waiting for people to come to them.

              …assuming they lack the resources to do anything “big.”

              …missing the simplest of strategies to effectively connect with a mission field they feel so powerless to engage.

Two Final Thoughts

  1.  In this world? Leaders always go first! They model the way.
  2. What if you asked a group in your church to be the pioneers with you for a few months? Practice BLESS and each time you gather, share stories.

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