There is a simple evangelistic contagion that is quietly creeping across the United States bringing hope and the good news of Jesus to people affected by disability. This evangelistic movement can be summed up in three words: prayer, care, and share. This initiative was started by LOVE2020 and is part of a larger strategy of the partners and members of the Mission America Coalition.
In the simplest terms, LOVE2020 believes that “every person in America should have the opportunity to be authentically loved by at least one committed follower of Jesus in this decade – by the end of 2020.”
This challenge acts as a trumpet calling God’s people to a simple and powerful lifestyle of praying, caring and sharing the love of Jesus Christ with those around us. Every person, regardless of physical or intellectual capacity, can engage in this lifestyle and have tremendous impact!
Here are some simple steps that we can take together:
Prayer: The Holy Spirit moves in wonderful and mysterious ways when we pray for others. He convicts, woos, and draws people to Jesus. Every follower of Christ has the opportunity to pray for others to receive Him and enter His family. Jesus asked the disciples to pray for workers to reach the suffering, helpless, and lost. Every one of us can pause and pray for others to come and follow Jesus.
Care: “Love your neighbor as yourself,” Jesus commanded. He personified this as He was moved with compassion by the needs of people. Jesus responded to hurting people and showed His love in tangible ways by feeding the hungry, healing the sick and comforting the suffering. Jesus said His true followers would be known by their love for others.
Share: There are many ways we can share the Gospel with others for whom we have been praying and caring. It could be as simple as inviting them to a church service, a Bible study, a concert or another special event where the Gospel message is being shared. You could share the hope of Christ with them over a cup of coffee in your home or draw them a picture. The method does not matter as much as your willingness to share.
Please join Joni Eareckson Tada, Mike Dobes and myself as we engage in praying, caring and sharing. We need your help to share this message with other church leaders and volunteers to encourage their churches become irresistible – “an authentic community built on the hope of Christ that compels people affected by disability to fully belong” (irresistiblechurch.org).
Marc Stein currently serves as Vice President of Field Services for Joni and Friends. Click to read Marc’s full bio.
For more information about Love 2020 and how you, your friends or your church can get more involved in this inclusionary initiative, please visit www.love2020.com.