Is there a place in your heart for lost sheep? They’ll return if we don’t give up on them, if reclaiming them is our priority. Think about what Jesus is saying here: “I was sent only to the lost sheep” (Matthew 15:24). He cares so much about lost sheep because we all start out that way.
The nice thing about lost sheep is that they hide in plain sight. You can spot them a mile away and very close to home. Lost sheep make the other sheep nervous because, for a while, lost sheep will look and act lost. But all the sheep benefit from being in a place that’s safe for lost sheep.
Lost sheep don’t like jumping through hoops. They get discouraged easily. They would rather stay lost than risk getting sheared one more time. But they’ll eventually wander in through wide open doors. Do you invite them in? Does your church have special ministry to help them recover from being lost? Are they welcome at the Lord’s Supper when they desire the five things present there: bread, wine, body, blood, and forgiveness? Are they welcome so they won’t be lost anymore?
When lost sheep return, there’s some kind of buzz in heaven over it. So, until they come back, leave an empty chair at the dinner table, a reserved seat in the back of church, an open chamber in your heart just for them.