I will never forget going to lunch with a classmate, Travis, my senior year of college. Travis wanted to talk about some frustrations he was dealing with, and he heard I would be someone good to talk with. In the middle of his monologue about the disaster his life had become (a sign of brokenness), I stopped him and said, “Hey, man, you need Jesus. It’s as simple as that, and you need to become a Christian right now.” I’d never been that bold just to interrupt someone in midsentence and invite them to follow Jesus, but I felt the Holy Spirit prompt it and so I acted.
What happened next blew my mind. Travis said, “You’re right!” He then dropped his head and started praying. He told God his sin in great detail—right there over a rack of ribs and corn on the cob.
To be fair, I’ve had similar conversations since then, and most of the people didn’t give their lives to Jesus. But the point is simple: When God prompts, speak the gospel.
If we are going to reach people where they are, we have to be bold enough to speak the gospel where they are and not wait on the “professional” to do what every believer has been explicitly called to do.
Sharing the gospel can be extremely nerve racking. Within the North American church, evangelism is too often reduced to inviting someone to a church service in hopes that the preacher’s message that day is engaging, states all the right ideas, and, in the end, leads to your friend walking an aisle, filling out a response card, or raising her hand.
Please understand me clearly. There is nothing wrong with investing for the sake of inviting a person to a church service, but know that seeing someone move closer to Jesus is going to take much more than that. If we are going to reach people where they are, we have to be bold enough to speak the gospel where they are and not wait on the “professional” to do what every believer has been explicitly called to do.
When reading Romans 10, many of us have the tendency to get excited about verse 13—“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved”—and verse 15—“How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news.” Both verses communicate amazing truth and are without question something that we should celebrate. Unfortunately, I believe one of the most unapplied and overlooked verses in the Bible is sandwiched between verses 13 and 15: “But how can they call on Him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about Him?” (Romans 10:14).
The good news of God’s grace cannot be mimed; it must be spoken. Other than one’s own salvation there may not be a greater joy than explaining the gospel and watching God do what only He can do: save people. The Life On Mission movement is about seeing God’s Kingdom advance through everyday people, passionately and practically living out the mission of God. We must speak the gospel and invite people into relationship with Jesus.
PRACTICAL TOOLS FOR SHARING THE GOSPEL
Within the Send Network, we talk extensively about living on mission and building relationships with those around us, but we want to give practical tools that help you and your church as you explain the gospel in conversation and invite someone to surrender his or her life to Jesus. Below is a list of a few tools we have developed as a team.
We are excited to announce that in partnership with LifeWay we just released a DVD Group Bible Study based around, LIFE ON MISSION DVD STUDY featuring, JD Greear, Eric Mason, Jimmy Scroggins, Ellis Prince, and Ronnie Floyd.
- LIFE ON MISSION: A Simple Way to Share the Gospel | DVD Group Bible Study
- LIFE ON MISSION: Joining the Everyday Mission of God
- LIFE CONVERSATION GUIDE: 3 Circles
Our simple desire is to see you succeed in the mission God has given you, whether that is through leading the church, planting a church or living on mission in your everyday life.