Reaching for Jesus
What does “reaching for Jesus” mean? That question reminds me of a favorite book, Risk the Journey, by Bill Leonard who was a professor of religion at Samford University in Birmingham when he wrote the book in 1995. He wrote that “The mission of the church is to tell the story of Jesus and live that story to the fullest, wherever we may be. It is to recount that story to those who have never heard as well as to those who need to hear it again and again. It is also to bring that story, in all its implications, to bear on every aspect of human life.”
As Christians we must “reach for Jesus” in order to make known the Good News and “reach others for Jesus.” It is the missionary calling of all Christians—those who stay at home and those who travel far away. “Reaching for Jesus” is the journey of a lifetime, an adventure, a responsibility, and a risk, since we do not know what lies ahead. “Jesus said to his disciples ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.’” (Matthew 16:24)
Individual Christians “reach for Jesus” through spirit led prayer, meditation, Bible study, and worship. They reach others for Jesus as servant leaders, by teaching, building relationships, caring for the sick and those in need, and witnessing through words and deeds. Reaching for Jesus can be as direct as a teaching session or as subtle as a kind act to a stranger in need. As the old hymn says, “Let others see Jesus in you.”
Circles, Sunday School classes, ministry teams, small groups, and others minister in unity to “reach others for Jesus.” Those groups serve agencies such as Room in the Inn, Bluegrass Christian Camp, Sayre Christian Village, Russell Cave Church of Christ, Assurance, Church Under the Bridge, Lighthouse Ministries, Hope Centers, Lexington Rescue Mission, and many others. Tates Creek’s We Care program provides necessities, encourages others, builds relationships, and includes spirit-led activities in the name of Christ to move people along in the conversion process.
Another strong “reaching for Jesus” effort at TCCC is the global missions program with our missionary families in Ethiopia, Mexico, and Tanzania. Stefan Kern mentioned in his article in the February issue of the Current that there are still over 2,000 people groups with NO ACCESS to the gospel. While we cannot all “go,” all of us can pray, encourage, and help send those who are called to take the good news of Jesus: His life, His teaching, His death and resurrection, and the impact of those truths in the world.