To make the mystery of the Gospel known to unbelievers requires remembering what it was like to be lost, Shannon Hopkins told a room of 200 Super Summer leaders in preparation for upcoming camps.
Hopkins, a missionary to Honduras, returns to Texas each summer to serve as an assistant dean one week of Super Summer as an opportunity to give back to a those who invested so much in his life.
As he dissected the heart of this year’s Super Summer theme “Making the mystery of the Gospel known” for deans, assistant deans and the other camp leadership, Hopkins encouraged each person to remember what it means to be a foreigner and an alien to the redemption of Jesus Christ.
“As a foreigner, I have been excluded to the rights of being a citizen [of Honduras],” Hopkins said. “I had an ‘aha’ moment of how the lost feel as described in Ephesians 2 where you are dead in your transgressions but made alive in Christ.”
“Go back and remember what it was like to be out, excluded. It becomes a loving offering and chance to become hope. Stop seeing people as projects, events and numbers. See their souls. That's what this mystery looks like.”
In the months preparing to bring this lesson, Hopkins often prayed that God would give Him an opportunity to have a deeper understanding of the mystery of the Gospel. As a bilingual teacher in Honduras, Hopkins noticed a teenager named Marvin in his classes. Marvin was facing suspension from school, so Hopkins asked the discipline committee if he could oversee Marvin for 40 hours as a means of community service.
Hopkins invited Marvin to walk alongside him as he did ministry around the community. As they spent time together, Hopkins said Marvin began “to see the mystery of the Gospel.” Through interaction with Hopkins’ family, friends in the community and other local believers, Marvin noticed a difference and saw a deeper need in his life.
One month ago, Hopkins arranged for Marvin to serve as a translator of a mission team that was working in their city. God spoke to Hopkins and told him to share the Gospel with Marvin.
“We talked about salvation and I had an opportunity to share with him that we are one family, the same body, the same heirs with Christ,” Hopkins said.
At a worship service that evening, Hopkins gave a call for those in the congregation who did not know Christ yet to give their lives to Him.
Marvin came forward and told Hopkins he wanted to make that decision.
“Through my relationship with him, through sharing the mystery, Marvin accepted Christ that night,” Hopkins said.
“All these people are longing for us to share with them. To show them daily what it looks like in a real, consistent way to follow Jesus,” Hopkins said.
At the end of the message, Hopkins issued a challenge to each Super Summer leader in the room.
“Don’t come to Super Summer until you have shared the mystery of the Gospel,” he said.
“We need to come to Super Summer as leaders who have shared the Gospel. This is meant to be what drives us. Pray for each other. Lift each other up. Go walk with each other to share the Gospel together…We’ve got to pray for each other for the sake of the Gospel so revival can break out.”
Join us in praying for Super Summer leaders as they make the mystery of the Gospel known in their communities. Then, as they take those stories to Super Summer, may junior high and high school students across Texas receive new and fresh training on what it looks like to know and share the Gospel.