Have you ever felt like you were being called to do something, but you just didn’t know how it would work? Can I just tell you, I have felt for some time like we needed to have more people in our home, around our table. Sure, we had friends over occasionally, but I have felt like this was something I needed to do on a more regular basis.
Like Moses, I had a list of excuses:
-Our children are involved in things that take up too much time to show hospitality.
-Our dog…what will we do with him when people come over?
-Our budget is tight just feeding the five people under our roof. How will we add more?
-How will I have time to have my house clean for people to come over?
But I just kept hearing that still, small voice say, “Invite them over. I’ll take care of the details” So in January, we started having people over at least two nights a week. Rewind a few weeks ago…actually, let me tell you a little story.
We live in a very small neighborhood and minus a few families it is mostly widows, widowers, and singles. We know our neighbors and we love them, daily contact is just not something that happens with frequency. Well, about two weeks ago, my older neighbor met me in the front yard and said these words,
“Would you use a ham if I gave it to you? My daughter was here this weekend and her family had to leave early and we just didn’t get to eat this ham. Do you want it?”
Do I want it?? We agreed on a time to meet to get the ham. When I went to his house, he handed me the ham and then…and then…he just started pulling stuff out of his refrigerator.
Here’s a 5 pound bowl of potato salad.
Here’s a 20 pound bag of potatoes.
Here’s two bags of tortilla chips.
OH, and here’s a 20 pound ham.
I wish you could have seen my face as my neighbor, whom I love but just don’t have much contact with, filled my arms with food and sent me on my merry way.
What’s the point to my story? When you are called to do something, do it. God will provide the details. Hey, he may even have your neighbor give you a ham, some potato salad, two bags of tortilla chips, and a twenty pound bag of potatoes.
So, let me ask you, what is God calling you to do? Email me and let me know. I’d love to hold you accountable. The first step is always the most difficult. Let’s step out together.
Jennifer and her family live in the South. She and her husband, Fred, have three boys ages 13, 10, and 7, and one unruly dog named Dash. Chaos2Peace is a blog designed to bring peace in the midst chaos by providing organizational tips, menu planning, simple recipes, and a whole lot of laughter. Join us on the blog today as we do life together, one step at a time.
I used to be the biggest scaredy cat when it came to sharing the gospel with people. I remember crying in my dorm room reading 1 John 4:18, which says, “There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love.” I thought, “Welp, I must not be a Christian then because I am SO SCARED!!!” (In the emoji world, multiple of the waterfall tears faces.)
Obviously I was a Christian, just one that had a difficult stepping out in faith in the area of evangelism. Though it’s a lot easier than it used to be (I don’t shake as bad I used to), I still struggle to get the courage to start a conversation with others about Jesus or even what they believe spiritually. I don’t have all the best responses memorized. I don’t remember every scripture reference I use. I don’t want them to think that I’m one of those CRAZY Christians. I don’t want them to think that I’m part of a cult. I can think of every reason why I shouldn’t start a conversation!
But I keep coming back to these three truths: 1) Someone had to share with me so I could come into a relationship with Jesus 2) Jesus commands me to do it (Matthew 28:18-20) 3) The Holy Spirit living in me can give me everything I need to share, and teach me from mistakes (John 14:26).
Something our staff has gotten back to on our campus is walking around engaging with an easy question: We’re going around asking people spiritual question, may we ask you one?
For some reason, that freaked me out! Why would someone randomly come up and ask you that?! Then I realized, it is so wonderful! You engage and bring them directly to the point of why you want to talk to them. If THEY say no, that’s their decision. You stepped out in faith and left the results to God. If they say YES, then you can easily lead with a question that can directed to the gospel very easily. Here are a few suggestions (and some suggested follow up questions that lead to the gospel) that we have used:
* If you were to die tonight, and you appear before God and you had to tell Him why you should be let into heaven, what would you tell God? May I tell you what God requires to get into heaven?
* What do you put your hope in? May I share with you where I put hope?
* What is St. Patrick’s Day/Valentine’s Day about? If St. Patrick/St. Valentine were to be here, what do you think they would tell you?
* What is Christmas/Easter about? May I share with you what I think it’s about? May I share the point of why Jesus came and died?
* (This one is my favorite) Let’s say Jesus just appeared between you and I, and He had one thing He wanted to tell you, what would he say? May I share with you what I think He would tell you? (You can also send them to the link “What Does Jesus Want to Say to You?”)
There are tons of questions you can ask! Take the time to listen to what the person/people say, and respond to what they say. For example, when I ask that last question I often hear, “Just keep going.” Ask, “What do you mean by that?” Another one I’ve heard a lot is, “Go to church.” You can ask, “Do you have a church background?” or “Did you grow up going to church?” Basically, care about what they are saying – even if it sounds crazy to you. Their responses mean something to them, or they may be about to realize that they should care more about their spiritual life.
Also be prepared to share the gospel and testimony at any moment! Second Timothy 4:2 says, “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.” Either have something memorized or have a track on you. I love using the Knowing God Personally booklet for SO many reasons, but the best ones is A) I don’t have to have anything memorized B) I can give it to them regardless of how much time I have with them.
For more good questions to ask, I suggest reading Reach: How to Use Your Social Media Influence for the Glory of God By Laura Krokos and Angi Pratt (Which you can buy in the MW store). They have a few pages I have reference a lot to ask really good questions – whether online or in person! I am a crummy reader, and I found this fun and easy to read, and very easy to apply! If I can read it you can too. (I was not told, influence or encouraged to promote MW stuff – I do because it’s actually worth while stuff that you can actually apply to your life.)
Leah works with Master Plan Ministries at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. Other than watching college students' lives change, she enjoys getting her mind blown by God and His Word, watching sci fi, baking cupcakes, and spending time with her hunky husband.
What gives me the right? I struggle with this question a lot. Who am I to do this? I really feel I am a natural born leader, it’s just in my nature to want to lead. But I struggle with feeling like I deserve to be. Who am I to tell people what is right or wrong? I want to be one hundred percent sure of myself before I ever take any steps in leadership or I just want someone to come out and ask me to take the lead.
This can be good, but generally I’m finding in ministry this is bad. What I do is constantly tell myself that it’s not my place.
Currently my husband and I are raising support to be on staff with Master Plan Ministries and we have had a heart to reach out on college campuses for Christ for a long long time, but still I don’t know where I fit into the authority piece.
Who am I to just jump out there and tell people about Christ? Do I have the training? Do I have all the facts?
While I can justify all these questions I ask myself, the only true answer is heck yes! I not only should do that, but God has commanded me to! The great commission is simple and complex at the same time.
“18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.””
- Matthew 28:18-20
It’s not about if we feel we’re in the right place, God has called us to share his news to the world. How are we going to doubt God’s call for us?
He doesn’t say, “go out and tell people about me once you feel comfortable,” He says that he alone has the authority and He calls us to go out.
He doesn’t call the prepared, the equipped, or the most prestigious; he calls the children of God.
When we stop spreading the good news, we are saying it’s not important or I’m not important but God has said you are worthy to deliver the news because he is worthy.
I think it’s easy to wait until we are in a place where people ask us or we feel we have some authority. Even as a veteran student leader on our ministry team I always had it in the back of my mind that I would wait until I was on staff to evangelize. Then it became, “Well now I’ll wait until I’m fully supported and on campus” And I know that would turn into, “well once I’ve gotten some time under my belt I will evangelize”. But no! God calls all those who believe in him to share his word.
God wants us to tell people about Christ not for our benefit but for His glory; the glory so powerful that was all get to be a part of it. Anything less than that is not allowing God full power in our life. God is bigger than our self-doubt, bigger than our awkwardness, and bigger than anything else that would keep us from sharing him with others. Multiple times in the Bible God calls us to share the Gospel, because if we truly believe this is the best news, why do we keep it to ourselves? No one has ever died from awkwardness.
“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” –Acts 20:24
Kaylee is raising support to be on staff with Master Plan Ministries in Denver, Co with her wonderful husband, Patrick. She loves starring life with her only daughter, Shiloh. She enjoys photography, movies, frisbee golf and anything that has to do with people! If you would like to learn more about Kaylee and her husband's journey into full time ministry read about it right here.
Christmas is almost here! The tree is up. The carols are playing. I am making a list of presents and checking my list twice to make sure I don’t forget anyone.
In all the hustle and bustle of Christmas, I don’t want to forget the most important thing on my to-do list. My job is to share the story of Jesus with those who have yet to receive Him. Every day, I rub shoulders with friends and family who desperately need salvation. How am I going to invite them to come to Bethlehem and see the One who is Savior of the world?
5 Ways to Make Jesus Known:
Lyli Dunbar loves teaching. For 17 years, she mentored teenagers in the Christian school setting, and now she has serves as Associate Director of Curriculum at Trinity International University Florida. Lyli married her Prince Charming in her 40’s and has a heart for encouraging young couples and singles in God’s waiting room. She enjoys road trips with her husband, connecting with women through Bible study, and reading way too many books. Lyli writes about life lessons and faith on her personal blog. You may also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
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I normally really appreciate Halloween. It provides opportunity to meet our neighbors and help our kids get out of their comfort zone by helping them initiate spiritual conversation about Jesus with others. In return for candy we have the kids give our neighbors little colored thank you notes with verses or tracts. But a couple months before this years Halloween we moved to a rural area where we don't really have neighbors. Unsure of what Halloween was going to look like for us, we went to a local church harvest festival and I was blown away. There was fun, games and of course candy but they maximized the opportunity they had to make Jesus known. As well as all the games, they had a trick or treat street where each station handed out candy and shared a different part of the Gospel. Each station was decorated in relation to the truth they were sharing with the kids. By the end of the candy collecting stations, every kid had a chance to hear the Gospel. It was AMAZING!! I was so proud of a church who prioritized sharing the Gospel and making the most of their time and opportunity.
Conversely there was another church 30 minutes away that also had a harvest festival for thousands of kids. I asked them how it went and if they shared the Gospel through stations (since the previous church was my first exposure to a harvest festival I didn't realize it was abnormal). The answer crushed me. "No, we don't want to bait and switch them. We believe in building relationships first." I've been there. I've said those same exact words paralyzed by fear and doubt trying to justify myself. I've wasted countless opportunities being ensnared by this lie.
In college I was on student staff with a ministry I really respect. My responsibilities were to go into the High School and meet girls so I did and I loved it. I met a whole group of them and would take them to lunch and build relationships with them. Week after week I would spend time with them but never felt quite close enough to start a spiritual conversation. Eventually after a year, when I did feel close enough to some of them, it was way too awkward to bring it up because then we were close friends and I hadn't shared the most important thing with them. I felt deceitful. But there was only a couple I felt that close to, the others I never felt quite close enough to. Friendship evangelism is like the double edged sword that destroys through either feeling too close or never close enough.
The Enemy preyed on my fear of offending and hurting people and fear of what they would think of me as well as my doubt that God can use His Word even if I am not best friends with someone.
It wasn't until I looked around and saw friends leading people (even those they weren't friends with) to Christ and I wasn't even getting into spiritual conversations that I became humble enough to consider the reality that maybe my friendship evangelism ideas were not really in line with Scripture. That same week a friend had shared the Gospel with a girl she barely knew (who was a big partier on campus) in the dorm and she gave her life to Christ. The same week that brand new Christian shared the Gospel with someone else who gave their life to Christ.
I got up enough guts to learn how to share my faith and walked up to someone at our weekly meeting and walked through a Gospel tract in a discussion based way with her. She was interested and the conversation was so normal. My walls of fear and doubt came crashing down.
Not long after that experience I turned around to meet the girl sitting behind me in church and walked through the same booklet with her. I had just met her and she didn't know Christ and gave her life to Christ right then.
So what am I saying? I'm not condoning Bible bashing or forcing people to talk about something they don't want to. (Did you know statistically most people want to talk about matters of faith.) I'm saying that evangelism is just not about us and what we think people will think or feel. It's about starting a conversation (even if you're not best friends with them) and letting God do His thing. It's about fixing our eyes on Him and having enough courage to step out of the boat and start asking questions that lead to the Gospel. It's about bragging about God and what He did for us and leaving the results up to Him.
Here's a helpful visual (from blog.keelancook.com) that shows who the Gospel was shared with in Scripture-if it was friendship evangelism or if it was with strangers.
So can I ask you that if you believe you absolutely need to build a relationship before sharing the Gospel with someone to pray about it? Do you think it's possible that you're making evangelism more about you than about what God wants to do in someone else's life? Are you withholding the most important truth of their life from them for fear of what they will think or feel?
I absolutely hate saying these strong things (there's my fear rising up again!) but here's a freeing truth, you're not in charge of or control of their heart and emotions and God doesn't want you to be. You are called to proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness, to do the work of an evangelist, to be an ambassador for Christ and leave the results up to Him.
Friend, I've been there and at times I still can be for fear still can control and hold my tongue but "Woe is me if I do not preach the Gospel." (1 Cor. 9:16) But when I take initiative in the power of the Holy Spirit to start a conversation my wall of fear comes crashing to the ground and it will for you too.
So if you want to be ready to share the Gospel, have a couple questions in your mind that you can ask someone to help you know where they are and know how to get to the Gospel from there. Here's is a list of 10 questions to help jog your thinking.
Laura, the founder of Missional Women is married and has six kids, two of whom are adopted. Laura and her husband have been missionaries to college students for 14 years serving with Master Plan Ministries where she is the Women's Development Coordinator. Laura has authored 5 books, including an award winning 12 week Bible Study on First Samuel, Beholding Him, Becoming Missional, Reach; How to Use Your Social Media Influence for the Glory of God, A Devotional Journey through Judges, and Discover God's Calling for Your Life. Most recently her resource for Bible studies, The Connect Cards was released by Cru Press. You can find her on facebook, twitter, pinterest, youtube, instagram, periscope, blab and her author site.
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We were 36,000 feet up, on our way to the Missional Women’s Conference. I saw him from afar, and anticipated whether his six-foot, four frame would land on the empty, isle seat next to me.
We started talking. He was a world-traveling designer, for one of the top brands. I was a housewife, headed to speak at a conference with my daughter, in Denver.
And yet, we both believed in love and peace, appreciated different cultures, and both coincidently had just flown to Shanghai, just a few weeks earlier.
Kyle had once studied theology, and was headed to restore relationships with a brother he had been estranged with.
My gut told me no sermon or doctrine, no preaching, or forcing my religion would heal what other believers had done to him.
Still, I am sure he saw my red-rubber bracelet , saying “Chinaorphans.org”, and, “James 1:27”.
He eventually asked where we were going and what made my hurt burn. My daughter shared about the conference, and I shared how we were passionate about foster care and adoption.
Kyle told me he had a similar heart.
I gave him a small piece of puzzle I was going to use at the conference, saying, “This is your piece in the story of adoption.”
He put it in his pocket and said he will treasure and keep it.
By the time we came down from the clouds, I knew I had a kindred spirit with Kyle. Theology had failed him, Christians had betrayed him, and I knew words alone would never convince him.
But scripture reminded me, “Not by might, or by power, but only His Spirit says the Lord”. (Zack. 4:6)
I think about and pray for Kyle often. After meeting him, God reminded me of four ways to evangelize:
During the three hour flight, they condemned tattoos, people living together, single parents, and a broad list of other people who didn’t look and act like them.
Despite how they look on the outside, their hearts were clearly far from him. (Isaiah 29:13)
And I wonder if Kyle was still sitting with us listening.
Would he have been more receptive to their condemnation?
As we evangelize, let us walk in grace and humility, love and compassion, with wisdom and understanding.
For even if our theology is correct, we must remember what Jesus teaches….
They will know us by our love. (John 13:35)
Though born, raised, and still living only miles from where she grew up, Jen's heart lies in the nations. Jen loves the beautiful tapestry found in the wide diversity of people, different cultures, and all nations. Jen and her husband have been married twenty years, and have parented fifteen kids and counting; twelve foster, one adopted, and two bios. Her multi-racial family reflects her passion for unity, desire for faith without walls, and missional mindset to share both the gospel and the power of redemption to a world desperately needing the hope found in Jesus Christ. Jen and her husband have led in a variety of ministries; including prayer, small groups, children's, and women’s. Jen advocates for the orphan as a board member for the non-profit, A New Song; and loves doing missions work internationally, along with her family. You can find Jen writing about faith, while challenging her readers at her blog, Rich Faith Rising, as well as at tweeting faith-filled messages @Jen_Avellaneda . Jen is also on facebook.
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The Gospel is “the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:16). God does not want anyone to perish but instead wants everyone to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9); He wants everyone to come to salvation (1 Tim. 2:4). I am sure you’re not the kind of person who is full of unbelief about evangelism (if you were, I doubt you would have made it this far). This post will equip you to recognize the lies that keep so many from sharing the Good News. Catch these in your own life and make others aware of them too.
Christ came to seek and to save the lost (Lk. 19:10) and He has put you and I here for that same reason (Acts 17:26-27). Scripture is clear, anyone who puts their trust in Christ will be saved (Jn. 3:16, Acts 2:21, Rom. 10:13). The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few (Matt. 9:37). We are the workers He has chosen to use and it is time for us to win this world for Him! Don’t ever let Satan’s lies stop you from that.
There are so many different lies that have kept Christians from sharing the Good News. There are ten that are particularly destructive (but these are by no means the only ones). I think it is important to get these lies out in the open right off the bat so they aren’t messing with you the rest of this book. Here they are in no particular order.
Lie #1 -You must have the gift of evangelism.
Many donʼt share because they donʼt feel like they have that gift. We would never say you must have the gift of hospitality in order to be hospitable, the gift of giving to give or the gift of encouragement to encourage. Some will have the gift of evangelism but we’re all called to share the Good News. Remember Matthew 4:19; if you follow Christ youʼre called to evangelism! Don’t ever believe the lie that you have to have the gift of evangelism in order to share.
Lie # 2 - Your personality, skill, knowledge, looks, style, and actions validate the Gospel and make it relevant.
Many Christians donʼt witness because they feel they arenʼt good enough Christians. The whole point of the Good News is that we are sinners that need a Savior! 1 Corinthians 1:27 says that God chooses the foolish and weak things of this world to glorify Him. He doesn’t need you to “validate” the Gospel (you should definitely do your best not to invalidate it through hypocrisy). Also, many people donʼt share because they donʼt think they have all the answers. You never will! Do your best to prepare and then trust Him. Don’t believe the lie that the power of the Gospel rests on your performance or abilities.
Lie #3 - You must earn the right to be heard.
Another version of this goes, “they donʼt care how much you know till they know how much you care.” That is definitely true for leadership and discipleship, but not for evangelism! Jesus earned the right to be heard two thousand years ago. He also earned the right to be obeyed by His followers; He claimed to have all the authority to command us to witness (Matt. 28:18-20, Acts 1:8). Many people incorrectly believe you must befriend people before witnessing to them. The number one reason people reject the Gospel is because of hypocritical Christians; the “friendship only” approach isn’t working. Jesus called us to reach the whole world. This would be practically impossible if everyone had to be befriended first. Imagine how long it would take to befriend the entire world before sharing with them. Be friendly but also be open to sharing with anyone God puts in your path. There are very few, if any, places in Scripture, where anyone befriended someone before sharing with them. Love people and share with them. Don’t believe the lie that you can’t share the Gospel with someone until some level of friendship has been attained.
Lie #4 - Booklets and pamphlets should be avoided.
Romans 1:16 tells us, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes...” The Gospel message is powerful, whatever its format. Gospel “tracts” and pamphlets can be great conversational tools and they can be transferable resources that make it easier for people you’re discipling to learn how to share their faith. It is important to personalize these tracts as much as possible. You should never believe the lie that God can’t use them.
Lie #5 - The poor, needy, and destitute are those we should focus evangelism on most.
We must remember that the rich are lost too (Matt. 19:23-24)! The poor are, without question, close to God’s heart and we should do everything we can to help them but they aren’t the only ones God wants to reach. The poor and the rich alike are lost without Jesus and we should strive to share the Good News with them all! Don’t believe the lie that rich people are fine the way they are and the destitute are the ones who really need spiritual help. Everyone needs Jesus!
Lie #6 - It is your responsibility to make sure no one gets offended.
Jesus promised men would hate you because of Him (Matt. 10:22)! Scripture also tells us we will be disgusting to some, but life to others (2 Cor. 2:16)! Share in a loving and truthful way and then trust the results to God. Gregory Koukl writes, in Tactics, “Jesus’ teaching made some people furious. Just make sure it’s your ideas that offend and not you, that your beliefs cause the dispute and not your behavior.”9 Be loving and truthful and remember, if people get offended, that is not your problem. Trust God with your insecurities. Don’t believe the lie that you can or should even try to make people like you all the time.
Lie #7 - Methods are what produce results.
Jesus said that it was the amount of seed sown that led to larger harvests (Matt. 13:1-9). We should always be looking for great new evangelism tools but must remember sharing the Good News is the key to reaching people for Christ. Never put off sharing your faith while you wait for better tools or ideas. Sow lots of seed in lots of places lots of different ways. Don’t believe the lie that you need to find some special evangelism “magic bullet.”
Lie #8 - “Preach always, use words if necessary.”
This is a popular misquote of St. Francis of Assisi. There are good Mormons, Buddhists, witches, and atheists; good works donʼt save people or show people the way to eternal life. We should live such godly lives that people will see Christ in us (1 Peter 2:12) but we must also remember that words are necessary (Rom. 10:13-14). We should both share the Gospel and live lives that show people Christ, not one or the other. Don’t believe the lie that good works alone are a sufficient evangelistic approach.
Lie #9 - Older people are stuck in their ways and wonʼt trust Christ.
On the contrary, dreams forgotten, relationships broken and the ends of their lives approaching, many have never been more desperate. Remember John 12:32-33; Jesus is drawing every person to Himself! That includes the old. Don’t believe the lie that you shouldn’t try to reach all ages of people for Christ.
Lie #10 - Most people arenʼt interested in spiritual issues and hearing the Gospel.
Jesus tells us, in Matthew 9:37, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few...” Workers are the limiting factor in the harvest. It is time to quit believing lies and start working in the harvest God has put us here for! Don’t believe the lie that people aren’t interested in Jesus.
Remember, James 1:22 tells us that disobedience leads to deception. The reason many of these evangelism lies are so prevalent today is because most Christians are not obeying the command to share their faith. Their disobedience is leading to deception. Don’t believe these ten lies or any others. Trust God will use you mightily if you’ll just obey Him by sharing your faith!
I think most of these lies are really just excuses. Ultimately, fear is the main reason most people fail to share their faith. People can come up with a million excuses, justifications and rationalizations for not witnessing but no matter how legitimate and spiritual they sound, they all boil down to fear. Learn to fearlessly trust God, obeying Him and sharing the Good News!
Here are five keys to crushing fear so it won’t keep you from evangelism. First, conquer fear by fearing God. A correct view of God will displace all other fear (He is bigger than anything you could possible fear). Fear God, respect Him for who He really is, instead of fearing whatever else is causing you fear (Mt. 10:28). Second, conquer fear by dying to yourself. Having been crucified with Christ (Gal. 2:20), you are free to live by faith rather than fear. Third, conquer fear by knowing and applying God’s Word. Joshua 1:8-9 connects courage with a knowledge of God’s Word. If you’re letting fear stop you from evangelism, you’re definitely getting your eyes off of Jesus and His Word. Fourth, conquer fear through prayer. Philippians 4:6-7 promises God will replace the anxieties you bring to Him in prayer with a peace that surpasses understanding. Finally, fifth, conquer fear by taking a step of faith in the power of His Spirit. Faith is the antithesis of fear (Mk. 4:40). Walk by faith and you’ll be fearless. Apply these principles as you continue sharing your faith and you’ll undoubtedly grow into the fearless evangelist God has called you to be. Once, after taking then student and current MPM staff member Mark Hodges open air preaching, he told me, “this is the most free I have ever felt in my life!” Crushing your fear of evangelism will do the same for you. My mom is one of the most fearless evangelists I know and she is a testament to the reality that trusting God, rather than living in fear, will result in untold evangelism opportunities!
Rhonda Denison, Master Plan staff member, shares the following story of confronting her lies and crushing her fears: “I love taking college students out sharing our faith. On one such occasion, I was at a campus with two other girls who had never shared their faith before. We started walking around campus and prayed for God to show us who to talk to. And there she was. Wavy hair past her shoulders... a Coach purse... Gucci sunglasses... beautiful... I mean gorgeous. Frantically, my eyes darted around campus; surely there had to be someone else I could talk to! This girl exuded confidence. She would not ever see her need for Jesus, there was no way she would want to talk to us! Silly lie-believing me! There was no one else, so putting on my most confident facade, I uttered these five words, “let’s go talk to her!” So we approach this girl (I’ll call her Brittany) and one of us asks, “Do you have a few minutes to answer some spiritual interest questions?” And then the strangest thing happened, she said “yes!” Not only did she say yes, she actually went on to tell us how the day before she was talking with her boyfriend saying, “I wish someone would just come up to me and tell me about God.” WHAT!? Wow! We shared the gospel with Brittany and with tears streaming down her face, Brittany put her trust in Jesus that day. That day I was challenged in my heart to not decide for someone where their spiritual interest is. I could have walked past Brittany ruling her out, assuming she had it all together. But instead of letting my fear dictate my behavior, I stepped through the fear, and by faith and in the power of the Holy Spirit shared the greatest message on earth with Brittany. Praise God, I now have a new sister in Christ! Luke 19:10 says that Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. Brittany was lost, Jesus sought her out and He saved her!” What an incredible illustration of the importance of trusting Christ and obeying Him instead of being controlled by lies and fear!
Fear and unbelief are learned traits. Baby Christians are usually the boldest and most fearless evangelists; they can’t help but talk about their Savior (Matt. 12:34). Chris Bilotta is my favorite example of this. From the day he trusted Christ four years ago until now, he has been one of the most passionate evangelists I know. He loves Jesus and everyone who crosses paths with him hears about it. He is also passionate about encouraging other believers to share their faith. This is normal Christianity. Unfortunately, the fellowship with others that is supposed to strengthen their faith often kills their motivation for evangelism as they internalize the lies their brothers and sisters have come to believe. It is so important to expose the lies that limit evangelism so that they won’t multiply unbelief throughout the Body of Christ.
Learn to catch these ten lies, and the others Satan throws at you, before they stop you from sharing your faith. Expose these lies to others when you hear them. I once spoke on these ten lies at a church that was promoting a bunch of emergent garbage, full of these lies. I haven’t been invited back but am glad I was able to confront the lies that were keeping that church from all God had for them. Learn to courageously follow your Savior’s command to share your faith!
I am married to the sweetest woman alive, Erin Herbst, and am excited to be serving God, in ministry together with her! God has blessed us with three wonderful children. Our passion in ministry is multiplying Christ-like multipliers, fulfilling Christ's Great Commission through evangelism, discipleship, leadership development and spiritual multiplication. I hope and trust each of my books will help fulfill those goals.
Living in America especially, but all around the globe sports fans (and commercial fans) tune in to watch the Super Bowl. Even people, who don’t watch sports that often, watch this one event. How cool that we can be fairly confident that for the next few weeks we have something in common with the bank teller, the person checking you out at a store, and the neighbor you never really had a chance to talk to. Here are a few ways you can transition a conversation about the Super Bowl into the Gospel.
1. Strike Up A Conversation
Just like I said earlier! You can start a conversation fairly easily by asking questions like:
Were you happy with the Broncos winning?
What did you think of the commercials this year?
2. The Weirdness Of The Puppy Monkey Baby
This is like the blue/gold dress that appeared awhile ago on all of our news feeds—the puppy monkey baby divided people quickly. Some people thought the puppy monkey baby was hilarious and some thought it was very disturbing. But, good news! No one felt indifferent about it—everyone I’ve talked to so far has an opinion. What do people like to do with their opinions? Share them.
This one felt a little awkward when I tried it, but I have to trust that God is at work inside me! While in a conversation about the puppy monkey baby I simply said, “Aren’t you glad that God didn’t make things like that?” And, after listening to their response, I talked about how God doesn’t do anything by accident and that He is the creator of everything.
3. Cam Newton
I would hate to have one of the instances where I mess up in a big way be on a global stage. Yikes. For those of you that don’t know, after the game, Cam Newton (who’s team lost) was very short with the media. After answering a few questions, he got up and left. The media and the public freaked out. And, in a lot of ways, the public reacted in a very hateful way. He was later reported to say, “show me a good loser, and I’ll show you a looser.”
That is circular logic, but it could be cool to transition the conversation into what it means to loose as a Christian. The idea that “everyone falls short of the glory of God” comes to mind. Even though we loose (in a lot of ways if you’re like me), it’s okay because we are still holy, righteous, and redeemed in God’s eyes.
4. Money. Money. Money.
For this Super Bowl, a 30 second ad cost around 5 million dollars. A simple way to get an idea of what someone values is to bring up this fact. Say something like:
Did you know that a commercial for the Super Bowl cost 5 million dollars? What would you do with 5 million dollars?
Then use their answers to talk about what ever it seems like their struggling with/valuing. For example, if they say something like, “I would give most of it away.” Then you can ask the question, do you think that will make you more qualified for Heaven? I love that question because faith in Jesus is the only qualification we need.
My prayer is that these ideas will give you more ideas (and I would love to hear them). I'm praying for boldness for both of us to step out in faith and use this event to grow God's kingdom. Have a great week. And GO BRONCOS!!
Jacque is the Missional Women Intern and a college student in Denver, CO who balances her time between trying to go to class and learning about His saving grace and perfect love as much as she can. She is a twenty something, DIY attempting, Jesus loving, Denver living, small town rooted, Colorado sports fan. She loves black coffee, long conversations and watching people do what God created them for. You can find her Christian Twenty Somethings blog at Desperately Dependent.
What is the Christian Bubble? The idea that someone is enclosed in a Christian community, with very little interaction with the outside non-believing world. It is easy to find yourself in one. You say "yes" a few times to many (with very good intentions) and the next thing you know, every day of your week is filled with some sort of ministry event. In December I realized I was caught in the Christian bubble--every day of the week was surrounded by people who pulled their truth from the Bible. How can we live missionally if we don't have anyone to share with?
1. Take The Initiative
My boss is a funny guy, with a great job, but he has never been married. As many times as I tell him he's bound to meet a great girl at my church--he refuses to go. The other day he said something that made me laugh, "I've come to the conclusion that a really pretty girl who likes watching movies isn't going to show up at my door with a pizza." That idea sounds ridiculous. But the notion of someone walking up to us at a grocery store and asking about God because we have a cross necklace on seems so normal? Just like my boss needs to talk to a girl before he can have a girlfriend, we need to meet someone to share the Gospel with them. Take the initiative to start a conversation.
2. Add Availability To The Check List
One of the ways that God gifted me in is the ability to connect the dots. I do college ministry in Denver, CO and that gift tends to be a blessing everyday. A few months ago, I walked into the room where we have our weekly meeting: I saw the lights needed to be turned on, the projector needed to be focused, and chairs needed to be put away. So I went to work. After a few minutes, my sweet friend came up to me and asked what I had done since I got into the room. I explained the check list I had finished. Then she asked, how is anyone doing in this room? Yikes. I had no clue. Over the course of the year, many new non-christian students come to our weekly meeting. Yet, how could I meet any of them if I'm too busy to be available? Try to keep an eye out for ways to live missionally in your already occurring ministry events.
3. Remember The Sabbath
My friend said something that shifted my perspective the other day, "the truth is, your life is your ministry. And, if you don't have a good home and work balance... burn out sets in." The shift came from stating the obvious that the Christian life we are called to is a full time job. But, the Christian life and ministry events are not synonymous. Look at the last few weeks of your planner--do you have time off? Time off meaning time away from Christians to meet non-Christians. If not, can you talk to God and see where you could step back? Taking a break is not only healthy, but Biblical.
4. Ask God For Help
I babysit for a family and sometimes have dinner with them. One of the kids always volunteers to pray. And the majority of the time it is the same thing: "God, thank you for my brother, my other brother, my sister, my other sister and my mom and dad. Amen." I love how the mom will sometimes ask them to use different words--getting the kids to realize its less about words and more about heart condition. And the same holds true for us. Pray in different words. Ask God to overwhelm you with opportunities to partner in growing His kingdom.
5. Kiss The Comfort Zone Goodbye
I think bubbles form when we get comfortable. Spending time with people who think the same way we do can be comforting and feel safe. But, God can do amazing things when we trust him outside of where we feel comfortable. Can you take a painting class? Or meet someone new on social media? Or trust God with something even crazier?
Jacque is the Missional Women Intern and a college student in Denver, CO who balances her time between trying to go to class and learning about His saving grace and perfect love as much as she can. She is a twenty something, DIY attempting, Jesus loving, Denver living, small town rooted, Colorado sports fan. She loves black coffee, long conversations and watching people do what God created them for. You can find her blogging for Christian Twenty Somethings at Desperately Dependent.
I didn’t have the textbook childhood, nor what I thought was the typical family. Christmases were spent playing drinking games and sneaking off to bars, instead of family dinners and time spent in prayer.
Do real families do that? I just imagine lots of prayer around a big rectangular wood table… but I could be making that up. Maybe that’s not how it is at all. Maybe the centerpieces, apron-wearing-mothers, and soft classic Christmas music playing from the corner is the product of all the years I spent imagining the perfect family.
When I was little, we still did the whole extended family Christmas thing. Cousins running around everywhere, uncles arguing politics in-between drunken slurs, aunts and family friends claiming to need to “run errands” after whispering about meeting up at the local dive bar.
Even though I had no idea about Jesus back then, I remember thinking that there has to be more to life than this. THIS! Is really all we were living for?
Then, as I got older, and family feuds got larger, we stopped going back to Nebraska for a big family Christmas. Instead, it was just my dad and I. Often, surrounded by other people who had nowhere to go on Christmas. Those were fun Christmases—lots of traditions came out of those. But they were never focused on God or what I would call God glorifying. Still lots of drinking and focusing on what presents were under the tree.
But, even then I would have a faint tickle of imaging what it would be like to have brothers and sisters, and parents that weren’t divorced—a loud bustling Christmas instead of the quiet one with just us.
It was then that I started to negotiate in my own head.
Instead of prayer around a table, maybe people just had thankful hearts towards God. Maybe, the apron-wearing-mother would be overwhelmed and burn something. Maybe, the kids would be running around and screaming over the Christmas music. Maybe, tree ornaments would break and babies would be crying and messes would be made.
I could deal with all of that. I would love all of that.
Then, this year, my dad’s work schedule came out. He flew out Christmas day. My already quiet Christmas just got a whole lot quieter. It was going to be Hallmark movies, my Saint Bernard Yogi, and me.
It was then, that one of the couples that I babysit for invited me over to their house for Christmas. And, I’m not talking about a passing pity offer (believe me, I’ve gotten those enough in my lifetime). A genuine in person invite, followed up by a phone call and a Facebook message.
It was then that I realized that I was wanted—that I could maybe dip my toe into the “real” family Christmas. Knowing this family, there would be crying, and kicking and screaming, and messes and at times just a loud roar of Children, but they wanted me to experience that with them.
I had a place to go. A place that would be to celebrate the birth of Jesus, which is really all that truly matters.
So, I urge you to look around in your own life. Look for those back-alley-dog type people, who have nowhere to go. Offer them a sincere invite into your crazy, messy, slightly dysfunctional family, and it will mean more to them than you ever know.
Can't do it for Christmas? That's fine. Family dinners work to. Or coffee. Or lunch. Really a sincere invite is all that counts.
People yield their lives to Jesus for so many reasons. Forgiveness, His Constant-ness, His plan and so on. But, sometimes, it’s because for the first time in their lives they’re unconditionally wanted.
You can reflect that. You can make someone feel wanted. Invite them into your mess.
Jacque is a college student in Denver, CO who balances her time between trying to go to class and learning about His saving grace and perfect love as much as she can. She is a twenty something, DIY attempting, Jesus loving, Denver living, small town rooted, Colorado sports fan. She loves black coffee, long conversations and watching people do what God created them for. You can find her on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
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