3 Reasons Why You are Equipped to Share the Gospel in Today’s Culture
Everyone has a story. While the components that make up these stories vary by the individual, a common thread exists throughout all of humanity that ties each person to the rest of the world. Although this unifying feature draws us together, the way people view their individual stories can be very different. For example, C. S. Lewis distinguishes between two common understandings of life. The first he describes as a kind of biological existence, or merely surviving from one day to another. The second life he describes is life in all of its fullness — a life that’s worth living for.
This second kind of life is what the Christian faith is all about.
If you have found the Lord, you have a grace-filled story marked by the touch of God in all of its richness and splendor. You also have a remarkable privilege to share this story with a culture who does not yet know of God’s goodness. Life with Jesus offers people transformation and hope, but at times, we can feel inadequate or uncomfortable telling others about it. The message we have as Christians is worth knowing and grasping, but in order for people to accept it, we have to be willing to share it. If you find yourself overwhelmed by the prospect of engaging culture, here are three encouraging truths to consider.
You’re Not on Your Own
While it may seem daunting to share the gospel, you can take comfort knowing that there is a presence by your side who will “never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6) If you have embraced Jesus as your Lord and Savior, God’s help and presence literally dwells inside of you. If you feel trapped or don’t know what to say, pray! You have constant access to the presence and power of a living and loving God — a God who encourages us and guides us in all things.
Additionally, there is so much knowledge and wisdom you can glean from others. There are innumerable scholars — past and present — who serve as reputable voices in the realm of Christian doctrine. By reading books, watching videos and seeking others’ counsel, you can invite a community of believers into mutual support and collective knowledge. This community should be utilized as a primary resource for any questions you may not know how to answer. As a member of the body of Christ, it is engrained in your fiber to be part of a team; therefore, you can never truly be on your own.
You Can Do More Than You Think
Acts 1:8 boldly proclaims that “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Knowing this, we should have confidence in the power we carry. While this power is not our own, we are stewards of the gift and should wield it with authority.
In the context of sharing the Gospel with others, we must rely on the Holy Spirit’s strength to persuade others into belief. We shouldn’t just tell people that their views are incorrect; instead, we should describe the magnetic pull of His grace and invite others to discover it for themselves. It is critical that we recognize our own expertise in the specific ways that God’s love has intimately collided with our lives. If we can convey this personal impact to others, it will spark a curiosity in their hearts which could eventually lead to salvation.
If You Listen, You Will Then be Listened to
Ultimately, you cannot be heard unless people are listening. How, then, can you ensure that your audience will listen to the words you speak? By listening to others first, you can cultivate a respect that should also be offered to you. It is important to note that listening with a prepared response in mind is not listening at all. Truly seek to absorb people’s words, and you may even become enlightened to the ways that the Holy Spirit desires to respond in their lives.
As Christians, the message we have to offer is the Word of Life, and we need to be confident in that. This is not just a “used car salesman” pitch; the gospel is real, authentic and life-altering. You don’t need to be able to deliver the full payload of the Christian faith, which is wonderfully rich. What you can do is create receptivity for it in people’s lives. While at first it may seem overwhelming, I am confident that each of you will be able to do that in your own way.
Dr. Alister McGrath is a leading professor, author and researcher whose work focuses on theology and apologetics. As a former atheist, McGrath is passionate about defending the truth found in Scripture and bringing awareness to the intersection of faith and science. He is host of the C.S. Lewis Podcast on Premier Insight and his full presentation at the recent Premier Unbelievable? conference is available here.