Sep 04, 2017

Reach

Christ’s Passion On Campus


David Worcester draws our attention to Christ’s greatest passion (seeking and saving the lost) as a primary motivation for our college ministries.

“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Matt. 9:36

Christ’s passion was the for the lost. When Jesus saw crowds of people he saw individuals who were like lost sheep, doomed to die alone, without hope and without a purpose for their lives.

Jesus taught and modeled great urgency when it came to reaching those far from God.  He taught that a good shepherd would leave 99 safe sheep to search after 1 sheep that was missing. He taught about a woman who would urgently search high and low for a missing coin until she found it. And Jesus taught about a loving Father who ran to embrace his wayward son. All three of these parables demonstrate the great joy there is in seeing lost people found.

Jesus said, “There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” (Luke 15:7) Those who miss out on God’s heart for the lost also miss out on the joy of seeing those far from God return to Him! To miss God’s heart for the lost is to miss the heart of Jesus, and to miss the party!

I believe one of the reasons we lose our enjoyment of ministry is that we forget how it feels to look someone in the eyes after they have crossed over from death to life. We forget the joy that comes when entire families get baptized together. Ultimately, we forget the joy of our own salvation.

I’m convinced that if we saw people the way Jesus saw people, we would urgently lead our ministries to do whatever it takes to reach people far from God. Paul shared Christ’s passion for souls:

“For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them… To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. (1 Corinthians 9:19, 22–23)

I’ve heard others say this, and I agree that we need to be willing to do anything outside of sin to reach the lost.

John Wesley said, “The church has nothing to do but to save souls, therefore, spend and be spent in this work.”

What have you been spending your time and resources doing? Is it for reaching souls? Does your blood boil with a passion for souls?

I want to challenge you to make Christ’s passion your mission. You’ve got nothing better to do!

Jesus didn’t just teach about this, he entered the homes of tax collectors like Levi and Zacchaeus and shared meals with notorious sinners. He spent his life loving and sharing with those far from God, then He died for them. That includes me and you. None of us are safe unless we are rescued by Christ and none of us are too far away from Him to be rescued by him if he wants to.

Those of us who have the privilege of walking on college campuses to do God’s Work have been given a vital role in the harvest. As fall semesters are starting, I want to encourage you to work hard at reaching the lost. Believe what Jesus said, “Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.” (John 4:35)

After looking out on the crowds Jesus said this, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matt 9:37-38) The harvest is plentiful. We are instructed to pray for more workers for his harvest field. Also, both times Jesus said this he sent his disciples out soon after. In Matt. 10 he sent out the 12, and in Luke 10 after saying this he followed it up with “Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.” (Luke 10:3)

It’s silly to pray for laborers without a willingness to be a laborer yourself. Praying for others to join you in your work is different than praying that others would do the work.

After seeing God transform the life of Zacchaeus, Jesus shared one of his purposes for coming to earth, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10

Why have you come to your campus if not to seek and to save the lost?

What is keeping you and your ministry from prioritizing reaching those far from God?


about the author

David Worcester


David is the founder and director of Challenge at San Diego State and serves as an Elder at Mission Trails Church near the campus. He is passionate about mobilizing students to share their faith and make disciples. He’s helped develop GospelAppointments.com which is a resource that helps students and college ministers share with others in an intentional and personal way. David just finished his Masters in Theological Studies at Gateway Seminary and now has even more time for blogging about campus ministry, reading, surfing, hiking, traveling, and spending time with his wife Jessica and one year old son Samuel.