The pastor said that their Church was no longer targeting lost people only. He referenced the stories of Jesus in Luke chapter 15, which we call the parable of the lost sheep and the lost coin. Then he said that their Church is now trying to reach lost and “wounded” people.
We often call the last story in that chapter of the Gospel of Luke the Prodigal Son. But when we take the time to look closely, it is not simply a story about someone who recklessly wasted their money and resources.
This man wished his father had died, left his brother behind, and started a new life. There he made poor choices that resulted in him losing all his money. Then he thought he had hit the bottom of the barrel as he went to feed pigs, but he had further to fall. One day he sat with a desire to eat pig food. He had neglected his family, failed alone, and was now as low as a person might get.
We label him a prodigal, but perhaps we should consider him a hurting person. He was someone wounded by life and the poor choices that people often make. He did not suffer at anyone else’s hands but knew the pain of self-inflicted wounds. We have the option to view them as people who threw their life away as a prodigal or as people who are hurting from years of personal trauma.
The conclusion the leadership of their Church made was to start saying they were here to reach both lost and wounded people. While many might not understand they are lost, there is a world full of people who clearly know what it means to be wounded.