If you didn’t know this already, I spent 8 weeks this past summer serving Christ as an interim pastor in Illinois. I was filling in for a little church called Forsyth Baptist Church in Forsyth, Illinois. To sum it up briefly, it was absolutely incredible. If you want to hear more about it, check out the podcast series I made on the whole experience: The Cornfield Chronicles.
While I was there, I was blessed to meet a guy named Keith Schmutzler (check the awesome interview Keith and I did here). Keith has been faithfully serving the local Forsyth/Decatur/Oreana area of Illinois for a few years as pulpit supply. Only 24 years old (I think still), Keith is advanced in years in his biblical wisdom. As an active member of the local Baptist association where he lives, Keith got to write up a challenge for the first newsletter of 2020. Though this was addressed to local congregations, there is something in it for every believer. He wanted me to share it on Caffeinated Christianity– I added the title to this blog post, though.
Don’t let me tell you anything about 2020. Here is the Midwesterner’s Guide to Fulfilling the Great Commission in 2020 via my brother in the faith Keith Schumtzler of Oreana, Illinois (all words are directly from Keith– great stuff, if you ask me. I took the liberty of adding some colors to it.):
Take the 2020 Challenge
Here we are once again looking to start a new year. As I was thinking about the year to come, I kept coming back to the number of the year itself: 2020. This gave me an idea that I think God laid on my heart. I want to challenge you and your church to take the 2020 challenge. You can take this challenge in a number of ways:
- Increase your prayer time daily to 20 minutes or by 20 minutes
- Pray with 20 people outside your church this year
- Increase your giving to your church 20%
- Increase your weekly giving by 20%
- Increase your weekly offering by $20/week
- Increase your church’s Sunday School attendance by 20%
- Increase your church’s average Sunday School attendance to 20
- Increase your class’s attendance to 20 or by 20%
- Share the gospel with 20 people this year
- Share the gospel with 20 more people this year
- Leave 20 tracts this year at 20 different locations
- Invite 20 people to church this year
- Increase your baptisms by 20% this year
- Increase your baptisms to 20 this year
- Attend church 20% more than last year (if possible). We have many faithful people who don’t miss a service.
Bible Reading & Memorization
- Read at least 20 books of the Bible this year
- Read your Bible at least 20 minutes a day or increase it by 20 minutes/day
- Memorize 20 Bible verses over the course of the year
Not every person or every church will be able to take on all of these challenges. I certainly do not expect you to do all of these things, but doing just one or two would be something that would be beneficial to all. Whatever it is that you choose to do, just know that even if you fall short of your goal, it is always a wise idea to have goals. God will honor our faithfulness to Him. As Christians, we are called to be disciplined and to “press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 3:14). Let’s make 2020 a year where we all grow closer to Jesus Christ and that when we enter into 2021, our churches and our personal lives will look a lot more like Jesus Christ than they do today.