Dr. Albert Reyes serves as the CEO of Buckner International, a global Christian ministry focused on serving vulnerable children, orphans, seniors, and their families. In his new book, The Jesus Agenda, Reyes explores the blueprint for ministry laid out in Jesus’ first sermon recorded in the Gospel of Luke. The directions are clear. To be like Jesus, we must become, first and foremost, agents of redemption. Jesus came to redeem the lost—not just secure their eternity in Heaven but deliver them from darkness here on earth.
“I used to think serving vulnerable children, orphans and seniors was not my job or within my scope of ministry. I guess I had not read my Bible very well,” Reyes recalls. “In my mindset, social ministry and evangelism were mutually exclusive. As I have grown as a follower of Jesus, I’ve come to realize that the practical impact of the gospel and the gospel message of salvation cannot be separated. It is two sides of the same coin. Personal faith in Jesus as your redeemer goes far beyond solving the spiritual problem we have with sin. This is the Jesus agenda - preaching good news to the poor, proclaiming freedom for the prisoners, recovering sight for the blind, releasing the oppressed, and proclaiming the year of the Lord’s favor. It is the ministry to which every Christian is called.”
The Jesus Agenda confronts western Christians living in relative prosperity and comfort with detailed accounts of the desperate circumstances plaguing “the least of these” around the world. What is God’s heart for the fatherless in the global village? What should our response be to the 60,000 unaccompanied and undocumented minors that came to our border in 2014 seeking a better life? How does an agent of redemption reconcile the reality of life in the West with life in the developing world when it comes to matters of faith and action?
“I want readers to prayerfully consider this question: How would your profession or vocational skills benefit the poor, those in prison, the physically challenged, and those who are oppressed in your community? “Reyes says. “You have been placed where you are for a reason. You have a role to play in someone’s redemption story.”
Reyes believes the advent of the internet, the ease of international travel, and the abundance of financial resources place heavier responsibility on those of us in the West to serve “the least of these” in our global village—both at home and abroad.
“Redemption may mean reuniting a baby and his mother,” Reyes says. “It may mean giving a cup of cold water, a meal, a shower, or a pair of shoes to a family crossing our border without documents. Wherever we have an opportunity to shine hope into the lives of the least of these, we apply our hands and feet in redemptive ways to catch up to what God is doing on the planet.”
The Jesus Agenda weaves together the redemptive stories of biblical figures including Moses, dykd1eph, Ruth, and Zacchaeus, drawing faith principles from each then applying those principles through present day stories from Buckner’s worldwide ministry—the American single mother and her children who escaped a violent relationship and found a fresh start, the village in Peru that was relieved of sickness thanks to water filtration programs, the kidnapped Guatemalan infant who was rescued and returned to his mother, and many more. Each chapter concludes with thought-provoking discussion questions, making The Jesus Agenda an ideal vehicle for church small groups or individual study.
The Jesus Agenda
Becoming an Agent of Redemption
Dr. Albert Reyes
Believers Press | May 25, 2015
For more than 136 years, Buckner International has been transforming lives through hands-on ministry, serving the most vulnerable from the beginning to the ending of life. Buckner is one of the oldest and most unique faith-based social service organizations of its kind, serving people each year in the United States and worldwide.
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