Spiritual CPR: Reaching Out to the Spiritually Lost
I met Brandon just after my family and I moved from Ohio to Montana to plant a church. I was new in town and didn’t know anybody. I wanted to reach out to spiritually lost people with the Gospel of Jesus, and I needed to exercise. When I heard that a group of men played basketball at the local middle school from 5:00-6:30am every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, that was perfect for me to do both of those things.
I had heard stories of men who prayed for the salvation of people who they thought were least likely to come to Christ. And they saw God miraculously deliver and draw the deepest and darkest Lost to Jesus. I decided to do that same thing, and Brandon was “the guy.” He was in his late twenties, a recovering meth-addict, angry at the world, and cussed more than a Quentin Tarantino movie. So I started praying for Brandon every day.
Twenty years earlier I had learned from Sonlife (at SEMP, Every Day Commission, and in other trainings) the evangelistic method of CPR… Cultivate, Plant, and Reap. I began Cultivating a relationship with Brandon and the other guys at basketball. I began encouraging and building up Brandon and the other ballplayers every chance I had. I spent time in the woods and mountains hunting with Brandon. Our church plant went Christmas caroling and brought Christmas cookies to Brandon and his family.
I began Planting as I talked about God with Brandon. We discussed marriage, parenting, our past, sports, and life. Before we would go into the woods to hunt, I Planted more as I prayed out loud for our safety.
Then after about 18 months of Cultivating and Planting, I shared the Gospel of Jesus with Brandon, and God Reaped a harvest when Brandon prayed to ask Jesus to forgive his sins and give him eternal life. I baptized Brandon on the 2- Year Anniversary of our church!
Jesus said in John 4:35 to “open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” I’m glad I opened my eyes and saw Brandon. And when I saw him, I didn’t see him through my own eyes, but through the eyes of Jesus. In my own eyes, I would have seen an angry, foul-mouthed punk. But through Jesus’ eyes, I had compassion and saw someone who was spiritually lost, and needed to be made alive.
Scripture says that Lost people (Chair 1 people) are:
- Dead (Ephesians 2:1, 5, Colossians 2:13) and need to be made alive
- Objects of wrath (Ephesians 2:2, Romans 5:9) and need to be saved
- God’s enemy (Romans 5:10) and need to be reconciled
- Like sheep gone astray (1 Peter 2:25) who need a shepherd
- Far from God (Ephesians 2:13) and need to be brought near
- Blind to the gospel (2 Corinthians 4:4) and need to see Jesus
When I look through my own eyes, I see Lost people as “bad,” or “wrong.” But when I open my eyes and look at the fields like Jesus does, I have compassion, see them as Spiritually Dead, and want to do Spiritual CPR to bring them to life! Abundant and eternal life with God, through Jesus, our savior!