The Time is Now
We are living in the greatest missional opportunity in world history. I believe this to be wholeheartedly true. In the United States, one nation has become the home for every nation. We are now presented with a unique and precious opportunity to sow the gospel into every country on our own soil! Just think, whether our country experiences revival and sustains freedom for hundreds of years or whether persecution and hard times hit our country soon, either way, the internationals who are temporarily calling America home will eventually be forced back or continue to influence those back in their homeland. Now is the time! Can you see it? The task has come to our backyard! It is right in front of us. The time is now to get the gospel to these precious souls and to all the lost of every people group in America. We are at a tipping point and I believe a generation is rising up that sees Jesus for who He is, is counting the cost, and with joy-filled hearts we are responding to His love with immediate, radical obedience.
Time. It really is about time. “The time is now” is so much more than a cliché line; it is a cry for urgency and an anthem to pick up the pace, to respond with fervor to the love that Jesus displayed on the cross. Many people would tell you that “pace” and “urgency” are not spiritual matters. They would argue that God, His Word, eternal destinies, and eternal souls are the real spiritual matters at hand. And yes, they absolutely are. However, we cannot forget the eternal destiny of eternal souls is determined in time. So time and pace are most assuredly critical spiritual matters as well.
The Lord does not delight in the death of any man, but desires for all to come to repentance and for all to willingly love and worship Him. But the fact is that more than one non-Christian per second passes into a Christ-less eternity.
Right where you are, begin snapping your fingers every second.
This pace does not slow down when we are sleeping, when we are at our respective jobs, in the classrooms, or while we are on vacation. One soul. Every second. Dying. And living forever in torment apart from Jesus Christ.
This does not please God. This breaks His heart beyond words. And it should ours too. His heart is for ALL to know him and WE are His method to get the gospel to our neighbors and to the ends of the earth.
Our generation is responsible for this generation of souls.
Pace matters. Urgency matters (You can stop snapping now).
It is true: we are living in a day where there are more Christians alive at one time than ever before! The church is larger than ever before! But this number can be misleading because there are also more non-Christians alive than ever before. The sobering fact remains that the growth of the church is not keeping up with the population growth of the world. In America alone, the number of believers and church attenders has gone down in every county in the country. Not one county went up in number or percentage. Not one county stayed the same.
Pace matters. Urgency matters.
I do not say this as a pessimist or to say doom has come upon us. We hear enough of this talk to last a lifetime. In fact, I am saying quite the opposite! My heart believes and burns with faith that a mobilized faithful generation is ready, willing, and hoping for such a movement to arise! It’s time to turn the tables, get our hands dirty, mobilize laborers for the harvest, and get in the game! I am hearing inspiring story after story, ministry after ministry, church after church that is noticing this downward trend and is willing at any cost to be a part of a miraculous move of God in our generation that bears and multiplies fruit. I hear incredible stories, some of which you will read about in this issue, of men and women who are responding in love to be harvesters in their community, to sow seeds of the gospel and to rapidly reproduce healthy groups where they are. God is doing it! It is happening! He is building His church!
And yes, pace matters. Urgency matters. The time is now to multiply disciples.
For some, talking about pace can give the impression that whatever is being multiplied is being multiplied at a compromise or a lesser quality. This certainly can be true, but it is not necessarily true.
Curtis Sergeant, disciple-trainer, church planter, and founder of Zumé, says it this way:
“There are some things that if they happen faster actually improve the quality and that’s the type of pace we are interested in increasing. We are not interested in mediocrity. We are not interested in multiplying a bad product. We are not interested in multiplying weak disciples. But if we can find a way to increase the pace of disciple making and disciple multiplication without hurting the fruit – we are interested in that! So if we can find ways to increase the pace of multiplying good fruit, it will have incredible impact on the spiritual landscape. It will have a huge impact on the expansion of the Kingdom of God. And this is something we do need to be concerned about. Time really does matter.”
What would it look like if we took multiplication and pace seriously? What if we realized the exponential difference between 18-month multiplication compared to 9-month multiplication? What if we captured the heart of God on his people and went out with bold, unoffendable hearts into the harvest field?
It has already begun.
Our generation is responsible for this generation’s souls.
Pace matters. Urgency matters.
The time is NOW.