Our calendars should have the word “expecting” written all over them. Just like we mark down a friend’s birthday, or a lunch date, we should schedule in our spiritual expectation.
We should say, “God, I’m going to share the Gospel, and I’m going to expect you to save, and I’m going to do it on Saturday at 9am. See you then.”
Putting expectation on the calendar would be a good practice for the church. And if it doesn’t work, just like any meeting, you scratch it out and reschedule. But you don’t give up. We should plan towards and believe for God to save. Through strategic preaching on Sunday and ready living every other day, the yearly rhythm of the church should be filled with Gospel intent.
Gospel intentionality—in planning, preaching, and practice—leads to a culture where response is normal. And it’s glorious when response is normal. Nothing is more fun. It means the Spirit of God is working, lives are changing, souls are stirring, and normal becomes natural.
We want normal to be when the Gospel is so spoken and seen—from the Sunday gatherings to the dorm gatherings—that old believers expect people to believe, and new believers share the Gospel with people as if it’s expected. When there is a saturation of ‘normal Gospel-sharing’ it leads to natural ‘without even thinking Gospel-sharing.’
My friends Victor and Damian came to Christ recently. Both have radical stories of conversion. Victor took 21 years to believe and Damian took 21 days. But what they have in common is coming to Christ in a culture that shared Christ. They saw Gospel intent shown every Sunday and every day between. This intentionality, met with an expectation, made Christ evident to these two men. And when they came to Christ the most normal and natural thing for them to do was live with intent and expectation. Without even being told, they turned and shared the Gospel. It was natural.
Culture is created where Gospel intentionality and expectation meet. If we intentionally share Jesus with people and expect Jesus to save, and do that so normally it becomes natural, then when people believe they will turn and make more believers. They have to. It’s all they know. This is what we are laboring to accomplish in Resonate. Sermon series, village discussion, conversations with co-workers—everything is planned with Gospel intent and expectation. God will save, we know it. We plan for it.
As a church, we are only as potent as the disciples we make. And the disciples we make aren’t made in a vacuum, they are made in a culture. Large groups can’t make disciples, but they can inform culture and work in a rhythm to help facilitate intent and expectation.
The church’s culture should be one of intentional living, expectant living, where leading people to Christ is normal, and new Christ-followers share the Gospel naturally. As a follower of Jesus, whether you program Sunday gatherings or program computers, this lifestyle—the lifestyle of living sent—should be so normal we naturally calendar it into the fabric of our lives.
Share Jesus with expectation, live with Gospel intent, and watch God shape you and shape a whole church around the mission of making disciples who make disciples.