Lately God has really been laying something on my heart, and I really needed to share it with you guys. The following is revised from a draft of an email I was thinking of sending someone. After showing it to my older sisters and parents, I decided not to send it, but to instead use it to share this need with all of you. The context is that my church/ the Church really needs to grow in the area of outreach and witnessing. I hope that this post will help you to be blessed, challenged, and as a result, on fire to share the gospel.
Somehow when I was looking for reading material a couple of weeks ago I ran across a really good book on witnessing. As I was reading it this past week I thought “Wow, our church really needs this book. I need to share it with them”. As God continued to lay it on my heart, I decided that as soon as I finished the book, then I would share it with my church. Sunday morning, God had other plans. I was one-third of the way through the book, and walked into church expecting a sermon on Luke 11. Instead it was a sermon the very thing God had been laying on my heart all week: outreach. While listening to the sermon, I was convicted and felt God was telling me “Faith [my pen-name]! You don’t need to wait until the book is finished. You can share what you have been learning now.”. So I shared some of it with one of my pastors, and now I am writing this. The book is called “Will Our Generation Speak? A Call to be Bold with the Gospel” by Grace Mally. It is an empowering book, filled with wisdom, and literally sets you on fire to share the gospel. It a book we could really profit from.
But more important than the book, is this: We cannot just encourage people to encourage people to come to church or to an outreach event or marriage conference, et cetera. In order for us (the church) to grow in this area we need to go out as a church to share the gospel. If we are busy out and about, we will always have some other place to go and a multitude of excuses not to witness. If we go out as a church (or as a group) with the very purpose of witnessing, we have no excuse to not witness, and we have the accountability of each other. Not only would this help us reach more people with the saving news of the gospel, it would grow our relationships with each other immeasurably. I consider witnessing together (striving together for the faith of the gospel, Philippians 1:27) as probably one of the greatest way to fellowship with each other. Other than all these benefits, why else should we go out together as a church to share the gospel? Because I believe it is commanded.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” -Mathew 28:19-20 (NASB)
I have heard so many people try to explain away the “Go” in this verse to clarify that we are not all called to be missionaries overseas. Perhaps the question should not be “Are we called to go”, but “How far are we called to go?”. We are not all called to go overseas or move across the nation or quit our job to share the gospel full-time, but we are all called to go out into the world and proclaim the good news. While we should also be sharing the gospel with those who God places in our lives (co-workers, relatives, baristas, cashiers, etc), we are also called to go out with the sole purpose of proclaiming the gospel, because we really are all “full-time” missionaries. When we are focused on looking around always for opportunities, we will find them all around us.
“And He was saying to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Go; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.” -Luke 10:2-3 (NASB)
“And the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled.” -Luke 14:23 (NASB)
“So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach.” -Hebrews 13:13 (NASB)
The author of the book “Will Our Generation Speak?” had a lot of stories of witnessing that occurred in her life and in her church. Her church would go to a place with lots of fish to catch (in a figurative sense) such as the park, the mall, the county fair, a farmers market, a parade, et cetera. First the group would pray together, then they would go out in groups of two (Luke 10) and ask people questions and start conversations about the gospel. If someone was not open to talking about it they would move on and find other people. An example of what they did at a Fourth of July celebration here.
Already, when discussing the idea of going out as a church to witness, I have heard responses such as ” Wow, if my church did that I would definitely go out and witness with them”, or “If they started doing that I would really enjoy it”. There is so much joy derived from obedience to Christ, and witnessing is no exception. Perhaps it is what our church is missing.
“As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” –Ephesians 4:14-16
I really encourage you to go read “Will Our Generation Speak?” by Grace Mally. If you can’t buy it, either see if your local library already has it, or try requesting your library to purchase it. Here is the amazon link to it, and here is the link to the “Will our Generation Speak” website.
It has hit me over and over again this week, “How many times have ever shared the gospel to someone who had never clearly heard it before?”. How have I been representing Christ to those around me everywhere? I am a missionary! It is my whole duty here on earth. Even better: not only do I not have to move away from my family and friends, I already know the language and the culture! I have no excuse to be silent.
“For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” -1 Corinthians 9:16 (ESV)
Will our generation speak? Will we be bold with the gospel?
Mathew 5:11-12 says: “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.“
Nobody has ever insulted me because of Jesus. The most persecution that I have experienced because of being a Christian is just that all my favorite worship songs on YouTube get taken down or labeled as inappropriate simply because they are Christian songs. That’s all. And it’s pathetic. Have I really been bold with Christ? Has anyone been upset with me in particular for being a Christian? No. They probably don’t even know I’m a Christian.
Many people will defend their lethargy in sharing the gospel with the phrase “Preach Christ. When necessary, use words.” I tell you, it is necessary to use words. Human nature loves sin and needs more than just observing the lives of those who know Jesus. We are far from perfect. We hope, as followers of Yeshua, that the joy of Christ will show in how we live, but we are only imperfect human beings ourselves. Jesus himself was perfect, yet he used words to call people to him.
“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?” -Romans 10:14 (ESV)
The preaching in this verse does not refer to some sort of word-less preaching. It is talking about preaching that can be heard. We NEED to proclaim to all the world the wonderful news of Jesus Christ.
Will you join me? Will you face your fears and go out to tell all those around you that Yeshua is come, that his love is reaching down, that he want every single person, no matter what they have done? Will you respond to his call?
Come! Do not be afraid.
“The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8 (NASB)
Why would we be afraid! Why would we shrink back from his calling! Come! Go and tell the world he is come, the One whose name is Salvation! The harvest is plenty! There is no lack of people hurting, struggling, thirsting for the One who made them for him. God does not need to use us to bring his salvation to the world, but has blessed us in giving us the greatest mission in the world. Will you answer his call?
“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” -Mathew 9:36-38 (ESV)
Please pray. Pray for all those whom God is calling to go out and proclaim the gospel. Pray for courage, for boldness. Pray that we would be accurate representatives of Christ Jesus. We have a hard mission ahead of us, but our God is bigger than it all. He will not give us a mission bigger than what we can accomplish. Pray that we would not be discouraged when we cannot see God at work.
Pray that God will raise up a generation of young people who are truly on fire for God; a generation of people who are not ashamed of the good news. Oh, Lord equip us! Strengthen us! Hold us up, we cannot go alone! We know, oh Lord, that you are with us even to the ends of the earth. Give us the right words to say.
Pray with all you heart and all your faith. The only successful mission for God is the one backed by prayer. We MUST pray.
Thank you so much for reading this post. Please share this post, reblog it, or write your own post, because we need to come together in prayer to spread the gospel.
Pray for me, pray for my church, pray for your church, and pray for The Church, the bride of Christ. If you have any area of your life you would like prayer for, please, please tell me! You can tell me here, via my contact form. For my sake, if not for yours, please tell me your prayer requests! Sometime, I would like to do a prayer request post, but even if your don’t want to show up in the post, I really want to pray in any way I can for you.
Thank you so much! Grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
To all my brothers and sisters in Christ, thank you, and God bless you!
“If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.” – 1 Peter 4:14 (NASB)
“On the day I called, You answered me;
You made me bold with strength in my soul.” -Psalm 138:3 (NASB)