Looking For Red Cars

Looking For Red Cars

How many red cars have you seen on the road this week? How about yesterday? It’s an interesting question for a few different reasons. First, we all know that red cars exist. You might even drive one. Second, we know red cars are regularly out on the road, mixed in with cars of all colors, carrying drivers and passengers to work, school, the pharmacy, etc. Finally, we know that we see red cars while we’re on the road. Maybe it had a unique bumper sticker, or it was the red version of your dream car, but we cannot deny that we’ve seen at least one. We know these things beyond a shadow of a doubt. They are absolutely true and can’t be argued. So how many red cars have you seen on the road this week?

It’s a silly exercise that becomes infinitely more serious when we replace the red cars with people who don’t know Christ. How many non-believers have you and I interacted with this week? We know they exist. We know they are regularly out and about. We know we interact with them. But despite these facts, our focus still defaults to ourselves, our own sin, our own walk with God. When it comes to our faith, our human nature causes us to look inward instead of outward. It’s only when one of these red cars cuts us off, honks at us, or full-on crashes into us that we begin to really notice.

When Christ announced the Great Commission in Matthew 28, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” He commanded an outward focus. He doesn’t say, “Go therefore and be a disciple, be baptized, and make sure you observe all that I have commanded you.” Jesus walked with His disciples for three years, teaching them how to live, how to love, how to serve. But just before He returned to Heaven, Jesus challenged His followers to have a new perspective. He desperately wanted them to look to those who didn’t know Him yet.

Would your answer to the “red car question” be different if someone you dearly loved really wanted to know? Something like, “It would mean the world to me if you could tell me how many red cars you see this week!” Would your answer be different if counting red cars was a game between you and a child, parent, or close friend?

Suddenly, driving to the grocery store becomes an opportunity to see more red cars. Our eyes are lifted up and out while we’re out for a morning jog just in case a red car comes by. We point the red cars out to friends and family. We ask others to help us find them just in case we miss one. All this because someone we love said to us, “I want you to find red cars.”

Again, a silly example turns serious when we realize that Christ, our Savior, Lord, Redeemer, and Friend, commands us to make disciples. This One we love so dearly, who paid the price to set us free from sin and death, gave us a direction. How are we to obey if our eyes are blind to the world and only focused on ourselves? Christianity without an outward focus is like fishing in a swimming pool. Sure, you’re fishing, but you forgot about the fish!

Here is my challenge to you, Christian. Search for the red cars. Make it a priority to look outward toward those who don’t know Christ rather than only inward. See, the funny thing about spending even one day noticing and counting every red car that you pass? You’ll never stop noticing the red cars. And the funny thing about seeking out the lost and introducing them to Jesus? You might just find that obeying Christ becomes a habit, a joy, and an addiction.

At Always Going, our aim is to come alongside believers and show them the red cars. We want to challenge each person to seek out the lost, equip them with the tools necessary to share this good news, and send them to those in their lives who don’t know Christ.

While working with individuals, we often speak of “Red Car Ideas.” These are ideas and ways of thinking that have the potential to stop at the head and never make it to the hands. For example, we might not teach a young man what prayer is or even how to pray (we trust this is being done in the local church context), but we will go to great lengths to help him incorporate prayer for his lost friends into his everyday life. We won’t tell a young woman how to read Scripture, but we will absolutely lead her to the passages about making disciples and sharing the good news. Red Car Ideas; things we already know, but take for granted, things that only help us in our own personal, inward-focused Christian walks if we don’t intentionally seek out how to apply them to reaching others. If our goal is to train disciple-makers, we want to take all the biblical and theological head-knowledge of Christians and put it to work with an outward focus.

This, specifically, is why we work alongside local churches. We believe the Church is the God-ordained method of training up believers. Men and woman are brought close as a family, taught biblical truths, and given a theological foundation. Our desire is to come alongside these solid churches, helping to send these individuals to those who need to hear the good news for the very first time. It’s a partnership designed to combine the inward focus with the outward for the glory of God alone and the sake of His name.