Sharing the Good News

16 Nov

This weekend has been a culmination of sorts. It was the Dare 2 Share Invincible Conference in Denver. I was at the event for the whole weekend and while it was physically draining (I’ve had an incurable headache all day), it was spiritually nourishing. Not only did my personal relationship with the Lord benefit (which I will talk about in a little bit), my job became ever more valuable.

Over 7,000 people filled the Pepsi Center for the conference. That’s a lot of students. And I have to tell you, it is beyond amazing to see these young people on fire for Christ. Not only are they fellow members of the body of Christ, they have found something to live for, a purpose for their lives. I can’t help but think back on my own life. What would my life look like if I had discovered that purpose in high school or even junior high? I have no doubt that if I had been invited to a Dare 2 Share event in junior high or high school, I would have rolled my eyes and said no. But maybe I would’ve gone…

There are hundreds of kids just like me (when I was that age) at our events: disinterested, apathetic, cynical, hopeless. And they leave the conference believing in their souls that Christ died for them. They leave with hope. They leave with the knowledge that, no matter how many people in their lives don’t love them, God loves them. And best of all, they leave with a burning desire to see their unbelieving friends come to know Jesus as well.

It’s ironic that I struggle so much with sharing my faith and yet I work at a ministry dedicated to teaching teens how to share their faith. I know God did that on purpose. Where else would I be continually convicted over the importance of giving hope to the lost, especially teens?

Our President, Greg Stier, is an amazing person. I’ve obviously heard him speak/preach quite a bit and know that since he is very animated and outgoing, he’s a great person to have speaking to a teenage crowd. But more than that, he is an inspiration. He inspires me to evangelize. God created Greg to eat, breathe, and sleep evangelism. He’ll tell you that ever since he became a Christian as a young boy, he’s been going around his neighborhood, around the mall, and now, around the country sharing the gospel. And not just in a preachy sort of way (though he does that too). He has the God-given ability to bring up the gospel with anyone, in any conversation. A guy in my care group also has that ability too. I get so inspired listening to both of them. They remind me that sharing the gospel is not something Christians do once in a while; it’s a lifestyle:

It’s walking through each day with the desire to share the gospel with someone, somehow. It’s seeing every situation and every conversation as a segue into the gospel. It’s seeing the gospel relate to every aspect of life, from waiting for a bus to eating a meal. It’s sharing the good news of Christ with those who are going to hell but don’t know it.

The biggest thing that happened this weekend was that God spoke to me. Listening to Greg speak, I knew the answer to my question, “What does living out my faith practically look like?” God’s answer:

Evangelism.

I’m pretty sure that I knew that was the answer all this time. And even now when I’m sure that it is the answer, I want to go look for a different one, one that’s not so scary and risky. One that I can feel comfortable doing. I feel like saying “God, I said I would follow you anywhere, do anything for You. But this? Anything but this…”

Whenever I think about sharing my faith with our neighbors or my brothers or friends from Travis’ work (since all of my co-workers are already Christians), I get a feeling of dread in my stomach. It’s like I’m back in 9th grade, dreading my next speech in speech class, feeling the impending doom of that fateful day.

But I know that it’s the answer, no matter how hard it is to take. I try to envision the living out of my faith without evangelism and it’s sort of like playing basketball with no hoops. I’m dribbling and running around but when I look up, I see that I’m just playing with myself. Similarly, it would be easy for me to just focus on my personal Christian walk. But when I look up at God, I see that I’m not actually playing in His game, I’m just sitting on the bench.

I want to play. I’m called to play.

But how do I play?

I know places I can start: my neighbor Patty, my brother Brian, friends I know through Travis. But beyond that… [insert big question mark].

I do know that my style of evangelism is going to look a lot different than Greg’s. He’s an outgoing person who speaks his mind…sometimes a little too much. 🙂 I’m not shy but I wouldn’t say I’m outgoing either. And I definitely like getting to know people before sharing the gospel instead of doing cold evangelism. So where to get to know people?

I’ll let you know what I come up with.

One Response to “Sharing the Good News”

  1. wbmoore November 17, 2008 at 4:16 pm #

    I recall when I first felt led by God to evangelism and discipleship. I was going to a church who focused solely on evangelism, so I prayed God make me an effective evangelist. I studied evangelism. I talked about God to others. I took evangelism classes. You name it and I did it to try to ‘be’ an evangelist. But more than anything, I prayed to be an effective evangelist. One day I went to a seminar on evangelism put on by a very effective evangelist. I learned nothing new. But at the end, he had us get in groups of three or four and each of us knelt and had the others lay hands on us and pray over us that we be God’s evangelist. That same day God used me to lead someone to Christ for the very first time! It was electric. It was awesome. I began being used by God to lead folks to the Lord. But I saw little or no fruit in these people, as they were all strangers and often people I met at doctors’ offices, in stores, or while traveling. Someone I prayed with to receive Christ never had change in her life. I began to pray for God to change me and use me to make true disciples. My evangelism stopped! I was shocked and sad and worried. But I kept praying and leading Bible studies. Then one day a woman who had been very antagonistic came to the Lord! And I saw immediate change and a hunger in her for the Word! She spoke with many people about the Lord and what He had done in her life. She eventually moved to be closer to people she wanted to evangelize. She’s been used by God to lead many people to Christ. She teaches and evangelizes. There have been few others I can point to who have been as on fire for the Lord as she is. I pray you get to be used by God in making disciples.

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