You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere.
Did you know that none of the early churches are still in existence? All of those unnamed people have disappeared. They live in obscurity.
Johnny, Jim, Todd, John, Steve, George, Dave…These are all the names of the men who helped introduce me to Jesus.
Did you know that there are 3,237 characters in the bible, but about 1,386 names. That means that over half of the characters in Scripture are unnamed. God is interested in using unnamed men and women, like you and me, to spread his Gospel.
When my boys received their yearbook this year, I noticed something. They immediately went to the index to cross-reference how many pages they appeared on. Unfortunately, we are creating a culture that is obsessed with making a name for ourselves. This has been fueled by the social media industry that values our worth based upon how many likes, retweets, and follows we get (follow me at @wbbarry btw).
However, if you were to ask people who has been the most influential person in shaping their faith life…very few will say “Joel Osteen,” “Steven Furtick,” or “Billy Graham.” The vast majority will point to a grandparent, or a father, or a neighbor or a coach.
These are the unnamed men and women of scripture.
This is how the Gospel spreads.
So rather than trying to build a name for yourself, what if you started to share the name of Jesus with those whom God has placed into your life?
Lesslie Newbigin said (or so I learned from a friend named Corey on twitter) that “The Christian faith is unique in that salvation never comes straight down to individuals as through a skylight, but always comes through a neighbor or friend as God’s chosen vessel.”