4 Tips for Developing a Heart for the Lost

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Jesus calls His people salt and light. We’re supposed to have an impact on the world around us. And He demonstrates His concern about those who don’t live up to the responsibility:

Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out (Luke 14:34-35).

Those are pretty strong words and reveal how seriously Jesus takes our call to proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God. Sometimes our passion for the gospel wanes; that’s understandable. But we can’t linger there. The longer we remain apathetic, the more difficult it becomes to regain that fervent sense of purpose.

Perhaps your burning drive to reach the lost has slackened. Don’t feel guilty. If you recognize that’s where you’re at, make an effort to change. Here are some specific steps to help recapture your passion for the lost.

1. Recognize that it’s essential

Most kids know that when Mom leaves a list of chores, they should be done before she gets home. Jesus left us a list, too-except there are only a couple chores on it.

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18b-20).

These expectations have come to be known as the Great Commission. His words should inspire the same sense of responsibility that it did with the disciples. This commission isn’t for other Christians; it applies to all of us.

2. Meditate on Christ’s heart for the lost

After His interaction with Zacchaeus, Jesus clearly stated His mission, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). You don’t have to read the Gospels too closely to get a glimpse of His passion for spiritual needs.

Devote yourself to reading through the Gospels, highlighting every instance where Jesus demonstrates his intense affection for the lost. Find a constructive way to internalize these passages. You could journal about them, memorize them, or get together with friends to discuss them.

3. Pray for a passion for the lost

God loves us enough to have sent His Son to die in our place. He is more passionate about being reconciled with people than we could ever imagine. If we lack that enthusiasm, it only makes sense to go to Him for it.

The mistake too many people make is trying to hide their lack of passion from God, but that doesn’t make any sense. He knows better than you do whether you’re concerned about those who don’t know Jesus. But He would love it if you came to Him consistently and simply said, “Lord, I am not as eager to share my faith as I should be. Please share Your heart for the lost with me.” That’s a prayer that will get God’s attention.

4. Spend time with mission-oriented people

Paul tells us that Jesus has filled the church with various gifts:

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-13).

Some people have an affinity for sharing the gospel. It comes naturally to them and they find it invigorating. God places them in the church to help instruct and encourage others to fulfill the Great Commission.

If you feel like your passion for sharing your faith is subsiding, seek out an evangelist. You don’t have to become like them, but you’ll find that their enthusiasm rubs off on you.

People still need Jesus

Many in the church worry that evangelism is no longer a priority. There are nearly 8 billion people on the planet today, and every one of them needs to hear about Jesus. There are a lot of wonderful activities, programs, and ministries in the church, but none of them should take the place of sharing the good news of the gospel.

Learn more about sharing your faith by hosting a movie night.