I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings (1 Cor. 9:22-23).
Paul’s heart for people who didn’t know Jesus was undeniable. After discovering new life in Christ, he dedicated his life to making sure others could meet, know and follow Jesus. It was his purpose, passion and priority.
Paul writes these verses at the end of a chapter that begins with a conversation about rights. He contends that although he has rights, he simply could not let his pursuit of his rights get in the way of the advancement of the gospel.
In other words, he felt a heavier weight and experienced a greater joy through focusing more on his gospel responsibilities than on his personal rights. God used this humble posture to plant many churches in Paul’s time — and it still applies today.
Last year Converge set a goal of deploying 312 new church planters across the United States over the next five years. Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, God used our churches to establish 20 new congregations in the U.S. (as well as 1769 internationally). We had 47 new church planting couples approved and at least 30 committed to planting in the coming season. Praise God!
The wave of new church planters who have the heart of the Apostle Paul to reach new communities with the gospel continues to rise. Our first Church Planting Assessment Center for 2021 is full and we are anticipating increasing the number of assessments from five in 2019 to 10 in 2021. We are both thrilled and thankful because we know church planting is one of the best ways to reach new people with the life-changing message of Jesus.
My prayer is that this edition of Point will remind us all to do whatever it takes to reach neighbors and neighboring communities with the gospel as we start and strengthen churches together worldwide!
Scott Ridout, Former Converge President
Scott served as president of Converge from November 2014 through August 2022. Prior to that he was the director of generosity for Converge from 2007-2014, concurrently with his time pastoring at Sun Valley in Gilbert, Arizona, for 22 years. He serves on the boards of Axelerate, Bethel University and The Timothy Initiative. Scott also serves the Finish the Task initiative working with denominations worldwide. He and his wife, Lisa, have been married since 1988 and have three adult children, Jon, Ashlyn and David. He loves God, the local church and simply wants to help people meet, know and follow Jesus.