Is it just me or does it seem like the goal of the world in today's society is to challenge Christians or Christianity? Is it just me that when you claim or even slightly indicate to anyone that you are a Christian they suddenly start to watch and evaluate every move you make? Is it just me or does the world seemed to be totally turned off by this idea of having faith in God that those of us who do are sometimes viewed as insane or "living in a fairytale?" (Yes I have heard that one before.)
To be more specific, college in general is, from what I have experienced, the hardest place to not only be a Christian but even harder to try and tell other people about your faith. It is so looked down upon by so many. People are ready to challenge anything you say with scientific facts. People are ready to make you question what you believe. The worst part, if you don't have all the theological answers about your faith people automatically assume that Christianity is just that, a fairy tale.
What if I told you that there was a way, or multiple ways, to communicate the Gospel to people without even mentioning the name of "Jesus" or breaking out The Bible ready to throw scripture at a non-believer? Ways to avoid those hard conversations that you may not have all the answers during. What if I told you that we as Christians could communicate the gospel to everyone around us, all at once, simultaneously, possibly without saying a word?
You might be thinking, "Are you really telling someone about The Lord if you don't use The Bible as a reference?" Or "Are you really preaching The Gospel if you aren't saying a word about 'the main character', Jesus?" Or how about this one, "Are you really "making disciples off all nations if you aren't using God to do so?" The answers to all of those questions are yes. Hard to believe but yes you are. You might be subconsciously doing so, but you are. Refer back to the first paragraph of this article, where it says "When you claim to be a Christian people watch every move you make." With that being said let me assure you that this isn't an invitation to try and be perfect. You will lose sight of the whole goal of trying to be perfect. You will lose sight of yourself and so much more. The definition of a Christian does not once include the word "perfection." But, how you live your life does play a huge part in communicating The Gospel.
The bible says:
"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations." - Matthew 28:19-20
That is our calling. That is our mission as Christians. Now, how we go about that, whether it be with words or actions is so important.
1. Your ONLY job is to plant the seed.
There are a few things you need to know before you make any huge changes in how you are living or before you go onto your campus or into your workplace with a bible in one hand and holy water in the other. There are a few things that are important to remember when and while you are living evangelistically or verbally evangelizing.
The term "Planting the Seed" comes from The Bible itself. There are multiple parables and proverbs that speak about planting the seed. It is defined as the first action of evangelism. The first thing you do to tell someone about The Lord. Whether you verbally told them or did them a favor and offered to pray for them after, those are ways you plant the seed. The bad news here is your only job is to plant the seed. Your job isn't to take responsibility in watering, fertilizing, or ensuring growth. In shorter terms, when you tell someone about Christ it isn't your job to save them. Jesus does the watering and fertilizing of them from there on out. We are called to love them through their journey to or with The Lord but that is all.
What some Christians struggle with when communicating the gospel in whichever way are the following things:
- You can't expect everyone to comprehend the message you are trying to communicate. But there is power in planting the seed. (1 Corinthians 3:7)
- When telling someone about The Lord your goal isn't to "win" the argument or "convert" the person. It is simply to announce the Good News irrespective of the results.
- What turns people away from finding The Lord is when a Christian says or acts as if "I am right, you're wrong and I am going to tell you why."
When using your words to tell someone about Jesus keep these things in mind.
2. You DON'T have to say a word about Jesus to tell his story.
The Bible commands us as Christians to "do everything in love." (John 13:3 5) As you are reading this part of the article think about two things. How do you show love every day? How do you love people? Unconditionally? For who they are?
Your life as a Christian should make non-believers question their disbelief in God. Yeah, you heard it, "your life." Not your words or all your knowledge about the New Testament. Your LIFE and how you live it should be the main thing that makes non-believers wonder, "How does that person look so effortlessly happy?" or "How does that person continue to love someone that has done them wrong over and over?" Or "How does that person serve so passionately?"
You see, all around you, there are people hurting, people who need love (genuine love), people who need constant encouragement. Let God use you and your life to do those things. Love and service to people are two easy things that will label you as a follower of Christ and will surely communicate the gospel to someone. Neither of those requires a theological argument or a scripture war with a science major.
You can't save everybody, but you can love everybody.
Some people might not understand what the love of Christ compels you to do, do it anyway.
In conclusion, what I have learned throughout high school going on mission trips (where your job is to tell people about Christ), spending my summers in ministry where my job was to simply love on everyone I came into contact with, volunteering at church and leading youth is I will not be the one that will change the world, Jesus will do that. However, I can change the world for one person.
So I keep stopping and loving one person at a time for this is what I believe my call is. You should totally try it.
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