Moving into a new district, a pastor started a series of sermons based on our call to reach the lost. Again and again he emphasized that we all have to serve. Using Bible verses such as Ephesians 4, the pastor preached that all parts of the body of Christ must use their God-given talents to share the good news of salvation.
The church had wonderful people, including two brothers with intellectual disabilities. Looking into the pastor’s eyes, smiling, they spoke slowly, “Pastor, . . . we . . . like . . . you.”
“I like you too,” he responded.
They spoke again, “Pastor, . . . we . . . like . . . you,” while clinging to the pastor’s arm. Sad to say, the pastor faced a continual temptation to just avoid them. He started to prepare the church for evangelism. Members were asked to be greeters or deacons, others to be part of registration or parking, still others to be children’s room supervisors or in the music group, and so on.
At the end of the final service, the two brothers approached the pastor. Slowly they asked, “Pastor, you said all have a job. You didn’t give us an assignment. What do we do?”
“Ummm. You don’t need to do anything,” he replied.
“But you said all get a job.”
The pastor thought, How can I get rid of them? They cannot serve or do anything; they will embarrass the church and most likely bother visitors. Then he got an idea. “You pray.”
“OK, we pray, OK, we pray, we pray, we pray . . .”
They went home, repeating, “We pray, we pray,” and then suddenly, they stopped.
“But who do we pray for?”
Their father suggested, “Well, you pray for those from the community who don’t know Jesus.”
“Oh, we pray for the community. But the community doesn’t know that we pray for them.” So, one of the two brothers suggested, “I think he means we need to pray with the community.”
So, they decided they would go to the community. Roughly 1,600 people lived in the town of 500 to 600 households. They knocked at the first door. “The pastor said we should pray for you; what do you want us to pray for?”
“Well, my cow is sick.”
“OK. Lord, please heal the cow. Bye.” A short, simple prayer.
Next house: “The pastor said we should pray for you; what do you want us to pray for?”
“My wife left me.”
“OK. Lord, please bring her back. Bye.”
House by house they went, and after about one month they blanketed the whole town with prayer.
“We prayed,” they told the pastor, back at the church. “What do we do next?”
I had peace for a month, the pastor thought. Another month of peace would be nice. “You need to pray more.”
“Oh, OK.” So, they went home, thought about it, and decided that he meant they needed to go back to the community. So, they went again, street by street, to every house.
“The pastor said we should pray more for you. What do you want us to pray for?”
“You know, my cow got well after you prayed.”
“OK. Lord, thank You for healing the cow. Bye.”
Next house: “You know, my wife and I got back together.”
“Lord, thank You for bringing her back. Bye.”
They circled the whole town again. “Pastor,” they said, “we prayed more; what should we do next?”
“Just go; I am busy now. Keep praying; pray without ceasing.”
“OK.” By now, they knew their duty. So, they just went back house by house. After another month, they had prayed with every household a third time.
The time for the meetings came. The members were trained and organized, but not many invited somebody to the meetings. The two brothers brought 46 visitors, and 42 of them decided to commit their life to Jesus, get baptized, and become disciples.
When asked what made them decide, most answered, “We can see Jesus’ love in this church. Our friends and families never visit us, let alone pray for us. You, on the other hand, you care. You sent somebody to come to us, listen to us, and pray for us—and not just once but consistently.”
It was a lesson for the pastor. Jesus is coming soon! There is no more time to waste. As leaders, we have the high responsibility of preparing every single person who has experienced God’s amazing grace to be a disciple to their families, friends, neighbors, and the world. Each person is to minister according to the gifts given to him or her by God. God can use literally anyone who is willing to work with Him in saving precious souls.