I am an extrovert. Strike that, I am an extreme extrovert. There are no strangers in my world. Everyone is a friend. There are few, if any, people with whom I will not talk.
I am also a Christian. That means that I am supposed to be an evangelist. Every Christian is an evangelist. You may be asking, “What is an evangelist?” It is someone who shares the Good News of God with people. But sometimes sharing the Gospel scares the stuffing out of me. Well, I think it is because of some of the ways I have seen the Good News shared.
“How,” you may ask, “does one share the Good News?” Well, there are a variety of answers to that question. Some folks like going door to door and ask people if they know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Some people hand out gospel tracts on street corners or leave them with the tip (please leave a generous tip if you are going to do this) for their waiter/waitress, or they leave them in conspicuous places to be found and read. Other folks feed the hungry, carry groceries, fix homes, or visit people in the hospital or in jail. Those are some of the ways people share the Gospel.
None of these things are particularly bad. One is not necessarily better than the other. They both, for different reasons can miss the mark of how Jesus shared the Good News.
Here are some ideas for sharing your faith with others.
- Jesus entered into our world and lived with us, not above us. By doing this he gave us an example to follow and built a relationship with us. Relationships are really important to sharing the Good News. People learn better by example. Are you setting an example?
- Jesus confronted the things that excluded and marginalized people. The poor, the sick, the excluded, and the different are not someone else’s problem. They are our responsibility. Are we participating in systems and practices that injure or exclude people?
- Power and coercion are not kingdom principles. He didn’t call on heavenly armies, threaten nuclear holocaust, or boycott. He served, love, and sacrificed for people even from the cross.
- He forged deep relationships. There were the 12 and within that the three, and among them, there was the “beloved Disciple.” With whom are you in relationship?
- Jesus was (is) a friend of tax collectors and sinners. He did not consider them problems to be solved or people to be fixed. They were people to be loved. Do you love people or want to fix people?
- Jesus did not come to be served but to serve. How often does our evangelism look like foot washing versus condemnation?
- Jesus said life is found in God not in things. There is freedom in the Good News of Christ. Is your joy in life dependent upon things outside of God? (Who is the president or how our economy is doing to name two).
People are looking for life and love and hope and forgiveness. Believe it or not, this is a compelling story for people. Advertisers do it all the time. They keep telling us how unhappy we are and how their product will fix our problems. Then, just when we are ready to give up, the product comes out at new and improved with 20% more of the thing that should give us the life we always wanted. But it never does.
Jesus gave a great example for sharing the Gospel with people who are looking for those things and more. All I have to do is listen to people and they will tell me where they hurt and why. This opens the door to share how I found freedom and life in Jesus Christ. I can talk about the things that stole my life, too.
Jesus came to set us free from those false promises. He came to give us life that is life. Like I said, that is easy to talk to people about.
The best part is that if I talk about the love of God and the gift of life through Jesus, sin, hell, and damnation take care of themselves.
What’s your story? Who needs to hear it?