My girls love this story. There’s a shepherd who’s got 100 sheep. One silly sheep though gets itself lost. Sheep are kind of like that. So this shepherd leaves the 99 sheep behind and spends his time and energy searching for that one lost sheep. Why? Because he loves that sheep. It’s not that he doesn’t love the other sheep. He does...very much...and if they ever get lost he’ll go searching for them too. But it’s the lost sheep that desperately needs the shepherd’s time and energy. A shepherd only has so much of both. The reality of the situation is that the shepherd actually has to leave the other sheep behind to find and rescue the lost sheep. This is a story Jesus told about how he as the “Good Shepherd” came to seek and to save people who, like sheep, get themselves lost. He spoke this story to a group of people called the Pharisees who were upset at how Jesus spent his time and who he spent it with.
I think about this story a lot. You can read about it in Luke chapter 15. Many of you know how I apply it to myself and to Victory of the Lamb. Just today I got to talk over lunch with a man who wants to transfer to our church from another one. And as I always do when I meet with someone like that, I asked him if he has any personal agenda in wanting to be a member of Victory of the Lamb. I’m always happy to hear when someone says no—that he/she just wants to grow in God’s Word and be a partner in a church whose crystal clear focus is to share Christ’s victory with today’s people.
I think he might have been a little surprised though when I told him that I do have an agenda. I have an agenda to rescue the lost. My personal agenda is that I want to focus more of my time and energy on the people who don’t know Jesus and who don’t go to Victory of the Lamb than on the people who do. I think Jesus would too. So that’s my “agenda” and, really, the reason Victory of the Lamb exists.
Not every church is like that though. Many people want to be served rather than to serve others. Many people look at church in terms of what they can get out of it for themselves. Many people want to get their own way. I understand. That’s how we are by nature. Selfish. Straying. Lost. Me too. How wonderful that Jesus came to rescue us!
I love the people who go to Victory of the Lamb. And I love our continued focus on sharing Jesus with those who don’t know him. It’s awesome how flexible you all are as we try whatever we can to find and reach people with the gospel of Jesus. If you’ve been to Victory of the Lamb recently, wow! The Cinema’s starting to feel comfortably full, isn’t it? Don’t get me wrong though. It’s by no means full, but it’s starting to get there. That’s exciting. If you haven’t been there, we’re big enough that you can come and not feel like you’re being “targeted” as a guest, but small enough that you won’t feel like you’re just a nobody. We’d love to have you come and hear more about Jesus. He’s everything to us.