Good news! You don’t have to be a preacher or evangelist to share the Gospel. Here is another way for us ordinary people to share the gospel (Practical Way #1 and #2 are serving in Christ’s Name and affirmation).
Practical Way #2: Treasure in Jars of Clay
The early part of 2 Corinthians reveals ways the gospel moves forward through broken, surrendered, Spirit-led people. The apostle Paul writes with such transparency, revealing his total dependence on Christ in the work of reaching unbelievers with the gospel.
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. (4:4-7)
The same God who brought physical light to our world at the beginning, has now put a new light in the hearts of every believer. It is Jesus-light, embodied in weak, normal, everyday, broken human beings, which Paul refers to as “jars of clay.”
Over the years, Pam and I have gotten to know the owner, the managers, and a number of the wait staff at a local Mexican restaurant. One of the wait staff, John, took a liking to us. On a number of occasions, John would scoot into our booth and start talking with us. We increasingly prayed for and tried to figure out how to move our friendship forward.
One night, after praying, I asked John if he would join me for a bite to eat after he got off one of his afternoon shifts. He said “yes” and we put a date on our schedule. A week later we went out for appetizers and had a great time together. John asked me again what I did for work. I gave him a vague response as I had in the past, but this time he wanted to hear more.
“So is this some kind of Christian organization?” John asked.
“We help people develop as followers of Jesus, living out their faith with authenticity and genuineness,” I replied.
From there we had a great conversation. John talked a bit about his own spiritual background and some of the things that had turned him off to “organized religion.”
Before we left the restaurant, I told John what a good time I had had. It was then that he said something to me that I will never forget: “Doug, I have a lot of regulars at the restaurant. I see a lot of people come through. You and your family are different. You care about people and you care about me. I look forward to the times you and Pam come in.”
I hadn’t talked in depth with John about spiritual things before that night. John saw the difference Christ makes in a life because we loved him sincerely and took time to listen to him. The best thing we bring into any relationship with not-yet-believing people is the Spirit of God who dwells within us and has given us the treasure of eternal life.
I hope this blog is reshaping your understanding of evangelism. While each of us should have the ability to articulate the message of Christ in simple, unreligious language, the spread of the gospel through our lives will be built upon the relationships we have with others right where we live, work, study, and play.
* This post is an excerpt adapted from my book Making Waves.