You can teach an old dog new tricks.
For years, I’ve hidden behind the excuse that “I’m the world’s worst evangelist.” I was right. But that’s not the point.
1. It’s not about me.
Mission is not about us. It’s about God and what he has done through Christ. It’s about what Jesus continues to do today through us by the power of the Spirit.
No more excuses. God is already at work.
For years, I’ve been telling people, “I’m the world’s worst evangelist.” It was an excuse. It was about me, not about what God was doing.
One Sunday afternoon, Michelle and I started walking around looking for “persons of peace.” It took half an hour to find our first one. Now we have a thriving ministry to people from all over the globe living on our doorstep. Monday night, we’ll baptize three new believers.
I’m still the world’s worst evangelist, but that no longer stops me from stepping out in faith to see what God is going to do.
2. Share the gospel—leave the results to God.
The gospel of our good deeds is a shadow. The gospel of our church cannot save. The gospel of our political agendas is a distraction. The gospel of our silence is unloving.
The only hope for this lost world is the death and resurrection of Jesus—Christ in us, the hope of glory.
If this is true, why are we so slow to share it? We talk about “earning the right to speak” as though the Cross is not enough.
I’ve learned to share Christ the first time I meet someone. So many of the people I’ve shared with are now my close friends. Being up front with people has helped them see how important knowing Jesus is. My goal is not to convert anyone, but to find responsive people who want to learn more.
3. Teach them to obey.
The command was never just to teach; it was “teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.” That’s what discipleship is.
We start discipling people before they have decided to follow Jesus. I regularly meet with people who grew up in Communist countries. Some are still members of the Party. They’re atheists.
We read a simple Bible story—the Good Samaritan or the Prodigal Son—I don’t teach; I ask questions. “What is this saying to you?” “What does this tell us about God? About humanity?” “If this story is true, what difference would it make to your life this week?” “Who could you tell this story to?”
I want them to discover Jesus for themselves and to begin learning to obey him.
I finish up by asking how I can pray for them. Then we pray. You would be amazed at how many atheists are touched by your prayer for them.
You’d be surprised how many come back the next week and tell me how the God they don’t believe in has answered our prayers.