Perhaps you have heard the sappy story about the starfish.
You know, the one in which an old man is picking up starfish on the seashore. The starfish had washed ashore and were dying in the hot sun. When a passerby noted that the man could not possibly save them all, the old man said, “Yes, but I saved this one”, as he throws the starfish back into the ocean.
The fastest growing religion in the world is Islam. A number of us Christians are concerned about Muslims. We see videos of men having their heads chopped off, we hear about the evils of sharia law and we fear another terrorist attack upon our country. Those strange-looking Islamic folks look nothing like the good ole Baptists that we grew up drinking sweet tea with and attending dinners on the ground.
To hear most preachers like myself tell it, the world is going straight to hell. The country is being run over by druggies, homosexuals, liberals and Democrats. God help us, we spend most of our time talking about the “old days” and praying for Jesus to come back before another one of us dies from cancer.
If things weren’t bad enough, our churches are dying. Catholics are running out of priests. Protestants are running out of church members. Baptists are not baptizing. What in the world are we to do? How do we stop the bleeding, for crying out loud???
Well, as corny as it sounds, we must do it one starfish at a time. More precisely, one person at a time.
Jimmy Draper, writing in SBC Life, addressed the need for Baptists and churches to get back to personal soul-winning. We must tell people about Jesus. “The only hope of our nation and world,” Draper noted, ” is the change that comes through the redeemed lives of those who have been transformed by the power of the Gospel message.” He further spoke of the saturation of America with churches, ministries, seminaries and Christian media. In spite of an abundance of Christian presence, Draper said, the United States suffers from a lack of Christian witness.
Thomaston, Georgia is a perfect example of the problem. There is no shortage of churches nor preachers. You shake a pine tree in these parts and fifty Baptists will fall out. And yet, statistics indicate that on any given Sunday, about two-thirds of Upson County’s population is not in church anywhere. Not in a Baptist church, not in a Methodist church and not in a holy-roller church. Not in anybody’s church.
As followers of Christ, we can change our world one person at a time, by sharing the Good News of Jesus.We must get back to personal witnessing and the winning of souls to our Lord. Draper added this: “Many modern-day churches are like social gatherings with little sense of urgency in reaching our nation with the Gospel of redemption.” As Christians, we must reclaim a sense of urgency.
The old man on the seashore threw the starfish back in the water before it was too late. We must act just as quickly.