Reach Gather Grow
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Lesson One - Reach
Pastor Ryan Story

1. What is the best hiding spot you have ever had in “hide and seek” tag?

“Hide and seek” is like “Reach.” We need to go out of our way and fervently seek those who are lost. It is not a game. It is a matter of life and death.

In this week’s lesson, we are going to be focusing on the first of three vision statements of The River Church: Reach. The truth is that every person who knows Jesus is because someone told him or her about Jesus. Every single Christian is reached because someone reached them. 

2. When you hear the word “reach,” what comes to your mind?

Luke 19:10 says, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

3. What does this verse have to do with reaching?

I would like to discuss three groups that we need to focus on reaching.

Reach those close to you.

John 1:35-42 says, “The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God!’ The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, ‘What are you seeking?’ And they said to him, ‘Rabbi’ (which means Teacher), ‘where are you staying?’ He said to them, ‘Come and you will see.’ So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, ‘You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas’ (which means Peter).”

4. Why did Andrew find Peter?

John 1:43-51 continues, “The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, ‘Follow me.’ Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.’ Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and see.’ Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, ‘Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!’ Nathanael said to him, ‘How do you know me?’ Jesus answered him, ‘Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.’ Nathanael answered him, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!’ Jesus answered him, ‘Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.’ And he said to him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.’”

5. What does Jesus tell Nathanael he will see? 

6. Why is it important that we reach people close to us?

7. Who are some people close to you that need to be reached? What are you doing to reach them? 

Reach the world.

Acts 1:6-8 records one of Jesus’ last commands, “So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.’”

8. Where does Jesus say to be His witnesses?

9. What do those three areas represent?

10. Why is reaching the world with the Gospel important?

Revelation 5:9 adds, “And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.’”

11. What if we have not reached every people group on this planet? Can this verse come true yet?

Reach yourself.

To have a passion for reaching those far from God, you first have to have a relationship with God. A sad reality for some people who go to church is that they do not have a relationship with Jesus. Many have a relationship with the church, they would claim they are Christ-followers, but they lack a relationship with our Lord and Savior.

12. How would you explain what it means to be a Christ follower?

2 Corinthians 13:5-6 says, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test.”

13. Why would Paul warn the church of Corinth with these verses?

What are some ways that you can “test yourself?”

14. Is it considered embarrassing to check your walk with Christ?  Why or why not?

15. What is the difference between “checking yourself” and doubting your walk with God?

The order of this lesson might have caught you off guard. However, each area is crucial. It is hard to give something away that you do not possess. Once you give your life to the Lord, you are commanded to tell others.

Pray for God to show you who He wants you to reach. Pray regularly for them. Make a plan of what you will do: text, email, phone call, invite to a gathering or special event, send a letter or tract, invite to lunch, or just go for a walk together. This is important, so put thought and effort into it. Then watch God step in and do miracles.

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