by Zack Woolwine, missionary to Tonga and the Asia Pacific.
In Tonga, about 10-15% of the population are followers of Christ. Therefore “lostness” in Tonga is 85-90%. We think about that number a lot. We keep it in front of us at all times. Grappling with local lostness in light of 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 should lead local believers to realize the role their Heavenly Father desires them to play in affecting this lostness.
When I was invited run an Evangelism Training for a church in Hawaii, the first thing we discussed was lostness in their context. On the North Shore of O’ahu (where Youth for Christ recently ran an evangelism training event) there is about 85% lostness. That means that well over half of everyone you run into on the North Shore does not know Jesus. We spent the next few days looking at:
- Why should I make disciples?
- Who should I share the Gospel with?
- What do I say (how do I share the Gospel)?
- When/how am I realistically going to put these things into practice?
100 people were trained and it was amazing what God did as they went out and began sharing. We found that there really are people prepared by God right around us just waiting for hear the Gospel. We found that the body of Christ isn’t simply apathetic toward lostness, but that when they are given tools and feel confident using them, they often go and share. We also found that as they shared people were not as antagonistic toward the Gospel as we often think they are.
A few days after I left, I saw the youth pastor post on Instagram: “High School bonfire night talking about our experiences sharing the Gospel this week.” Someone replied with, “I’m so upset that I couldn’t be there tonight.” Man, how awesome is that?!
What is lostness like in your area? Do you feel a burden to see it change? Whose responsibility is it to share Jesus among the people around you? Do you know how to share Jesus and make disciples? Would you like to be trained?