Go Out Among the Lost

Written by: Chris Galanos

Part 1 – Raise the Sails
Part 2 – Focus on God’s Word
Part 3 – Multiply Extraordinary Prayer

The third element in “raising the sails” for movement is “Go Out Among the Lost.”

When people talk about Church Planting Movements (CPM) and the Disciple-Making Movements (DMM) strategy, they’re talking about movements that reach lost people. Movements are all about lost people becoming disciples of Jesus & gathering in churches which make more disciples of Jesus.

You don’t have a movement unless lost people are becoming disciples of Jesus.

Naturally, then, you have to “go out among the lost” to see movements start. That requires leaving the church building and doing what Jesus told his disciples to do in Matthew 10 & Luke 10. I explained the process briefly in the What is DMM? article.

This is a difficult step for most Christians. We’re used to the holy huddle. We’re used to just going to church, going home, and going back again next weekend. We’re used to hanging out mainly around Christians.

Lost people won’t be reached that way.

We’ve got to break outside of our Christian bubble & take the command of Jesus to “GO and make disciples of all nations” seriously!

Let me give you an example of how this looks.

Inspired by a story I read in Steve Addison’s book, What Jesus Started, I contacted a friend of mine that was a Lubbock Police Officer & asked, “What neighborhoods are known to be the most dangerous in the city? Can you give me the top 3?”

He gave me the top 3 & several of our DMM Churches decided to target those neighborhoods as they went out among the lost. An often repeated DMM principle is, “Expect the hardest places to yield the greatest results.” We wanted to start in the hardest places.

I’m a part of one of those DMM Churches & we started prayer walking one of those difficult neighborhoods every week. We were asking that God would allow us to meet & serve people as we walked. We were also asking that God would lead us to the “person of peace” (Luke 10/Matthew 10) that he’s prepared in that neighborhood to receive the gospel.

As we walked, we would talk to people that were outside. We would tell them that we were prayer walking the neighborhood & then ask if they had anything we could pray for them about. People are generally receptive to being prayed for, so we were able to serve many people in that way. Plus it helps us determine if they are spiritually open.

Over time, God allowed us to meet someone named David. He invited us into his home & we were able to spend time talking to him about his needs. We prayed with him as we left that God would do a miracle in his life. He shared that he really wanted to be a better spiritual leader for his family. Ding ding ding. Possible open door. That week we met some of the needs that he shared & set-up a time to meet again. I’ll tell you the rest of the story in the next post.

As we go out among the lost, we pray and ask the Lord where he wants us to go. Once he shows us, we begin prayer walking that place. We look for opportunities to meet needs and we share about Jesus! Just like what happened with David.

When Stan, my DMM Coach, first talked to us about “going out among the lost,” we asked him, “Shouldn’t we start with the people in our relational network that are lost first?”

He said that while we don’t want to neglect our relational network, if we wait to “go out among the lost” until we’ve shared with family & friends, we’ll actually train ourselves NOT to “go out among the lost.” In other words, we won’t be in the habit of going out each week. Plus, he said, you’ll run out of family & friends to talk to quickly & then you’ll be looking for new areas to go & meet lost people.

One important thing to remember. And this is what makes the DMM strategy a little different than what most of us are used to.

When you “go out among the lost,” your ultimate goal is to find the “person of peace” that Jesus talks about in Matthew 10 & Luke 10. You’re looking for the receptive person whom God has prepared to be a bridge for the gospel to travel over into that community.

Stan shared with us a helpful acronym to identify “persons of peace” using the characteristics listed in Matthew 10 & Luke 10.

The acronym is WOOLY.

We’re constantly asking ourselves, is this a WOOLY person? Persons of Peace (PoPs) are WOOLY people.

Let me explain.

W stands for “welcoming.” A person of peace is someone who is “welcoming.” They are open & receptive to you & your message. When you ask to pray for them, they respond positively. When you start a spiritual conversation with them, they are open to talking about spiritual things. When you serve them, they receive your act of service well. See Luke 10:5-8.

OO stands for “open oikos.” Oikos is a Greek word that is used in these passages. It is often translated “house” or “household” and carries the idea of those closest to you. Your immediately family & possibly even your very close friends. Think, people in your relational network that are very close to you. A “person of peace” is someone who “opens their oikos” to the message. That means they’re willing to gather their oikos together to hear & respond to the message. Typically we’ll ask someone, “Would you like to bring your family & friends together to discover more about God through his Word?” We call these Discovery Groups (DGs). We’ll discuss them more in the next post. The emphasis is always on bringing a group of people together rather than focusing on an individual. This was Jesus’ pattern & it was also the pattern in the Book of Acts. See Luke 10:5.

L stands for “listen.” A person/household of peace is willing to not only hear the message but obey it & share it with others. They receive it as a message from God that needs to be obeyed & shared. If they welcome you & open their oikos, but they’re unwilling to obey & share the message, it’s an indication that they might not be the person of peace you’re looking for. The way we determine if they’ll listen is by encouraging them to begin a DG with their family/friends like was mentioned above. We train them to read & retell a passage of Scripture using the 7 DBS (Discovery Bible Study) questions as a guide. Two of those questions have to do with obeying & sharing. If after some period of time, the oikos is obeying and sharing, you’ve likely found your person/household of peace. If they aren’t, this may not be the person/household God has prepared to receive the gospel & bridge it to the community. See Luke 10:8-11.

Y doesn’t stand for anything — it just turns WOOL into WOOLY so we can use it as an adjective to describe persons of peace.

When we’re out among the lost, we’re looking for WOOLY people (persons of peace) whom God has prepared to receive the message & pass it on to others. This is the same strategy Jesus used when he sent out his disciples.

Each of our DMM Church Planting Teams that we’ve sent out from eLife has these goals related to this element:

  • Spend at least 1 hour each week as a team going out among the lost (new areas with people you don’t know yet)
  • Spend time loving, serving & sharing with your family, friends, co-workers & neighbors as well

Each of these goals are just recommended starting places. Many of our teams spend much more than 1 hour among the lost each week. Some teams spend 4-6 hours among the lost each week.

Here’s a link to the “Go Out Among the Lost” message in a sermon series we recently did called Raise the Sails.

Part 5 – See Groups Start