The November Planter’s Conference: Urgent!
By Sam Nadler
After meeting with him for about 2 years for lunch discussions and often addressing his fearful concerns of what would happen if he accepted Yeshua, *Saul, after hearing the Good News for the umpteenth time, yielded his heart in prayer by grace through faith and accepted Yeshua. I then asked him in front of others, “Well, Saul, is Yeshua now your Messiah, Lord and Savior?” He responded with a big smile, “He is now!”
Though Saul is Jewish, it’s always a joy, especially in heaven, when someone, anyone, Jewish or otherwise comes to faith in the Messiah. But, as great a joy as it is for a lost sheep to respond to the Good News, there is, therefore, that much disappointment and sorrow when the Good News is not shared. There is no other hope for my people or any people, other than in Yeshua the Messiah of Israel and Savior of the world.
As we plant more and more Messianic congregations, there must be the proclamation of Messiah’s Good News more and more. But, sadly, in many congregations this is not the case. In my evaluation of the many Messianic congregations (and churches) that I’m in touch with, evangelism is not prioritized as the essential and vital work of the believing community. When the Good News is shared, it is merely incidentally and not intentionally, that is, not a planned, prepared and trained program by the leadership of the congregation.
At the same time, I’m hearing in various quarters, that congregations are not growing, but shrinking! There is a direct correlation between congregations shrinking and those congregations not sharing the Good News. (And also on a personal level, if you’re not giving away your faith, you have less faith than before [see Matt. 25:28-29] – the more you give away your faith, the more you have!). If sharing the Messiah and making disciples is not in the DNA of a congregation (or believer), there will be spiritual weakness, stunted growth and eventual decline. It is not a great worship band and dynamic orator, but evangelism and disciple-making that provides spiritual life for the faith community.
Don’t get me wrong, a dynamic faith community, must have prayer/worship and sound teaching of God’s word, to be a healthy congregation. But, “a great worship band and dynamic orator” can also be a mere facade of godly entertainment, hiding the intrinsic spiritual weakness of a community that is not fervent for reaching lost people in their community.
The Holy Spirit was given for the power to be His witness (Acts 1:8); and if you’re not His witness, it is because you are not filled with the Holy Spirit. If you’re not filled with the Holy Spirit, your worship band and preaching are mere sounds without substance. “But,” you may be thinking, “How can people who believe in Yeshua not proclaim the Good News?” Of those Americans who say that they believe in Yeshua (i.e., Jesus, etc.), 52% believe that all good people will be in heaven.**
Remember, we’re always just one generation away from the work of God ending. And if you believe it is His will to reach the lost sheep of Israel, then you must make it your will, or repent of resisting His Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51), being unyielded to His love (2 Cor. 5:14-15), and disobedient to His word (Matt. 28:19).
Our November 3-4, 2019 Midwest Planter’s Conference will be hosted by an evangelistic community, Olive Tree Congregation in Prospect Heights, Illinois, led by Pastor Dan Strull. We’re trusting that many more attending leaders and planters will commit to proclaiming the Good News message more often, more fervently, prayerfully and more effectively. For your prayers for and participation in our upcoming conferences, please know that we’ll be teaching, discussing, interacting with Messianic leaders and planters on how to be more intentional on evangelism, even “to the Jew first” (Rom. 1:16-17). Be there or be in prayer!
*Names changed to protect their privacy.
**Pew Research, December 18, 2008.