The “Why” and “How” of Having a Top 5

By Matt Dawson

If you’ve been hanging around Journey for more than a month or so…you may have heard us mention the phrase “Top 5.”

Let me take this opportunity to explain what we mean and why it matters to the mission and vision of Journey Church.

The Great Commission

Matthew 28  18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Jesus has given us the task of spreading HIS STORY to EVERYONE in the entire WORLD! That’s one of the reasons we are currently in our “Storytellers” series at Journey – to help us get better at sharing our story.


I don’t know about you, but when I hear EVERYONE and WORLD – it’s not very personal. In our day of global news and connectivity, sometimes we can be desensitized and the larger the number, the less motivated we are. We know that there are roughly 89,000 unchurched people in the LKN area! (8 mile radius of our Huntersville location.) There are a few people that get really excited about that number, but most just see it as a mass of nameless, faceless people that we refer to as “them.”

When we narrow down EVERYONE to 5 people we know personally – the charge of the Great Commission can really take hold. When I read Matthew 28 and put the names of the 5 people that I know and am praying for in place of “nations”, it becomes a very personal challenge to be a witness to those folks.

“Matt, go and make disciples (share His story) to Jim, Sally, Tom, Sam, and Bryan – baptizing them and teaching them all that I’ve commanded of you.” WOW! If that doesn’t make you feel responsible for being a better storyteller – I don’t know what will!


I keep it simple. I renew my list every year. I write down the names of people that are in my circle of relationships (neighbors, friends, parents of kids’ friends, co-workers, networking group, the girl I see at the salon, the guy I see at my favorite pub, etc.). This usually becomes a long list. Most of them I cancel out if I know that they already have a growing relationship with Jesus. The rest, I just pray over and ask God to give me clarity on WHO he wants me to focus on.

Obviously, your list can be more than 5 or less than 5. The goal is not the number; the goal is to personalize the Great Commission in your life. Not to allow our minds to settle for the faceless, nameless crowd that we are trying to reach – but give them a face and a name!

At Journey, we exist to Humbly Point Everyone to Absolute Hope (Mission). WHY? Because we want to see Everyone’s Story Changed by Absolute Hope (Vision). This is the reason we have a Top 5. To not  glaze over the word EVERYONE and let a year go by where we haven’t actively shared our faith with a single person. When you sit in church, and you hear someone repeat our church’s mission – I want you to think of your Top 5.

Who is it that God has placed in your life TODAY that needs Hope?

Who has God been whispering to you to re-connect with (old co-workers, neighbors, etc)?

Who has God given you to pray for every day?

This is your TOP 5.



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