Advice | Devotion 4: Who is Your One?
It is extremely difficult working for a church. I say that with all joking aside; this is one of the most difficult places that I have ever had the privilege of working. I say that even though I served four years in the United States Navy. I love this job, being a part of a thriving ministry, and helping people get connected to our Lord, but the one thing I miss is being a light to others. Think about it; every day I work and see pastors and ministry leaders who know Jesus, preach His Gospel, teach, encourage, and strengthen me in my own beliefs. I do not come into contact with a lot of people who do not know the Gospel or do not know who Christ is. Now for some of you, my situation is your dream, being that it is a place where you do not feel ostracized because of your beliefs, or that you know all of the people you see daily know Jesus and their salvation is secured. Oh, how I envy you. You have the opportunity to share the Gospel with others that do not know. I know what you are probably thinking, “Max, don’t you get to do that?” Yes, but not every day, and not all the time. My week is made up of meetings with those who know Christ, and other ministry leaders to coordinate efforts to teach the Gospel or create lessons effectively. Most of my day is spent on the phone, behind a computer screen, or at lunch with a young adult or another volunteer.
Recently, I have been convicted of my time and how I spend it. I feel like I can do so much more, and not only more ministry but also with whom I minister. I pray every day that I can be effective with the meetings that I have and that I can see the fruit in the work that I do. With that prayer, I feel that the Lord has revealed something that I lack and that needs improvement. At The River Church, we hold ourselves to our core principles that we believe wholeheartedly is the mission of the Church, and that is Reach, Gather, and Grow. I know how to gather; I am required to do that because I am in charge of our gatherings at our Waterford location to a certain extent, and I love to lead growth communities and to be able to teach the Word of the Lord to young people. Yet, I am at a loss when it comes to Reach. Every so often with our Young Adult program, we will have a large “Reach” event where we encourage our young adults to invite their friends from school or work so they can hear the Gospel, but we only see a few people come on top of the steady number. I know numbers are not everything, and that is why I titled the devotion, “Who is your one?”
In North Carolina, there is a church pastored by Pastor J.D. Greear called the Summit Church, and in January of 2019, they started a campaign to see 1,000 people in their community come to know Jesus as their Savior. They called it the “Who is Your One?” campaign, and it is very self-explanatory. Who is the one person around you with whom you can share the Gospel? In the story in Exodus, we see that Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, comes and sees that our God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Great I Am, is the true God of all. He sacrificed unto the Lord and said, “Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods, because in this affair they dealt arrogantly with the people” (Exodus 18:11). As powerful and important as Moses was, his significant contribution was the salvation of his father-in-law. That was his one, and he was able to share the “Gospel” with him effectively.
In our life, we need to find that one. It is the one person who we could share the salvation message with and see their life be changed for the better. Now there is a tactful way of doing it other than being that pompous Christian who beats everyone over the head with the Bible or just how good they are, but rather about how they care about people. We can share food with them, invite them over to your home, and love them.
I have known Christ, or better yet, have known the Christian lifestyle for all my life. I grew up attending Church services at Waterford when I was a child. I recall being in our student leadership group as well as small groups and attending our camps. It was great, and it really cemented who I was. When I was 19, I joined the Navy after a failed stint at Liberty University, and while I was in that dark hole of the world, where seeing Jesus was hard and understanding who Christ is even more difficult. I knew I was a Christian, but yet I did nothing about it. Now close to three years after the fact, I regret not sharing my faith.
I feel like the scene at the end of “Schindler’s List” where Oscar Schindler looks at all the expensive things he owns and contemplates how many more he could have saved from the concentration camps. I could have been a light to the people I served my country with, but instead, I hid and kept it to myself. I failed for four years to spread the Gospel. Do not do what I did because you are scared. In 2 Timothy 1:7, the author writes, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” Do not be afraid, but rather go forth with the confidence that the Lord has given us.