Have you ever lost a pet before? A preacher from Toronto, Canada, was given a pure-bred Irish terrier when preaching in Ireland, only to lose the animal when he returned home. He searched everywhere for the poor animal but to no avail. He told the local newspapers, and they printed a “Wanted” ad. He printed signs and posted them on telephone poles. Before he left the country, the pastor told the police about the missing dog. Many people began an intense search for the lost animal.

When the pastor returned home and prepared for his next sermon, he thought about all the people who were looking for his dog. Then he thought to himself, How many people do I have looking for lost souls? This convicted him. It should convict us, too.

Anyone can have people join them for a party. Anyone can find people willing to accompany them to a bar, nightclub, sporting event, or even a church social gathering. But how many of us can name more than a handful of people who share our burden for winning souls to Jesus Christ? I’ll make an educated guess and say the figure is extremely small. Why is it so?

One of the reasons could be that few of us have a burden for reaching the lost. Our faith is one of our best-kept secrets. We embrace the truth of the gospel . . . as long as we’re with other Christians on Sunday. But when Monday comes and we are at work, or on Tuesday when we have a doctor’s appointment, or on Wednesday when we take a trip to the post office, mum’s the word. It is difficult to generate excitement about our faith this way.

If you want others to join in your efforts to reach lost souls, then you must lead by example. Get your kids on board by showing them how you start a conversation with a cashier at McDonald’s so you can share a tract with them. Give a good tip to your waiter at a restaurant so he or she will read the tract you give them. When others see you reaching the lost, they will follow your lead — and you won’t have to search alone.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.