The moment my father became a Christian he sought to tell everyone he met about Jesus. How do I know this? I was one of his first targets! My father would be the first to tell you that he didn't know a ton of Bible verses, nor did he take a class on how to share your faith. Instead, he loved Jesus, knew a few verses, and shared his story. He knew what his life was like before he met Jesus, how he came to know Jesus, and what his life was like after meeting Jesus. If someone gave him an opportunity, he shared his story, along with a few verses, and then asked if they would like to become a Christian. Needless to say, from the moment I trusted Jesus I followed his example. I didn't know any different.
Sadly, many believers today view the Great Commission as the Great Suggestion. Nothing could be further from the truth! Matthew 28:18-20 is clear that as disciples of Jesus, Christians are to share and spread the gospel throughout the world. This is to be done by the power of the Holy Spirit, for in Acts 1:8 Jesus says that when the Holy Spirit comes upon his followers, they would become his witnesses "in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." Jesus doesn't say they might be my witnesses, or that they even have a choice. Jesus says, "you will be my witnesses" (1:8). Even the four times the Spirit audibly speaks in the book of Acts he uses the word "go" (Acts 8:29-35; 10:19-20; 13:2; 28:25-26). Thank God He hasn't left us alone, for He has bestowed upon us great power in the Holy Spirit! With this clear missional focus of the Holy Spirit's work, how do we live this out? That's a great question! Let me provide some practical steps.
First, we can become more missionally focused by praying evangelistically. I often encourage people to set a daily appointment on their calendars to pray Romans 10:14 at 10:14 AM (see also Col 4:2-6). Romans 10:14 says, "How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?" By doing this, I believe each of us will have evangelism at the forefront of our minds. Second, mission has to move from an event to a lifestyle. Practically, this can be expressed through refocusing hospitality around mission. Pastor Jeff Vanderstelt talks of how we have 21 meals a week and encourages us to leverage some of those meals to interact with unbelievers. Further, David Mathis writes, "The New Testament word for “hospitality” (Greek philozenia) comes from a compound of “love” and “stranger.” Hospitality has its origin, literally, in love for outsiders." Christians, therefore, need to see their tables as tools to be used for gospel proclamation (Romans 12:12-13; Hebrews 13:1-2). Third, I would encourage you to read Evangelism by Mack Stiles. The book is small (only 130 pages) and will be a tremendous help.
Grace Point Church Northwest, know that your elders joyfully join you in this work and we're praying for you daily. It is our hope that this will be a year in which we see many come to trust in Jesus!