When I heard that the theme of this month’s issue of the Mosaic was “Church Multiplication” my mind started spinning (it does that often) about how could I possibly contribute anything of value? I must admit that I have only been involved in a church plant once in my Christian walk but then my mind went (way) back to youth camp where I heard a message about how important it is that we share our faith. The message was that if one wins one, then there are two and if two win two, then they are four and …. You get the picture.
I guess what really challenges me is why are we so apathetic as believers that we are not in the business of winning souls to Jesus? As someone who has been in youth ministry for a long time, I have witnessed the hunger and desire from both youth and their families to have a tangible faith to hold on to. The world is hungry, we have the food but because of fear of rejection, we are unwilling to share it.
The one thing I love about working with youth is their enthusiasm and their lack of being jaded by the “outside” world. They believe that they can do it and they do. When we have “Friendship Nights” or outreach events, they ask their friends and acquaintances to come. It is a risk for them but so many are willing to take it. Many times as adults we become so fearful of the “outside world’s” rejection that we are unwilling to take the risk of inviting those who are lost to be introduced to our Jesus, who is in the business of helping people find their way. We are trying so hard, sometimes, to be so insulated from the world that that becomes are focus.
Why is it that we are so intimidated? Why do we hold back on the most important information we have? I remember hearing that after 9-11, that the conversions to Islam skyrocketed! When asked why, people responded that `they wanted a faith worth dying for`. That statement shook me from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. My faith is not only worth dying for, it`s worth LIVING for! The sad thing is that because it is pretty easy (currently) to be a believer in our culture, it is easy to be complacent about sharing our faith.
One observation that I have made about our church today (may I clarify that I do not mean ALL churches, but some) is that we are sometimes so inwardly focused that we do not go and tell. There are always study groups and conferences and speakers who try to share the best way to evangelize but so often we are so caught up in the training that we do not implement what we have learned.
In Mark 16:15 it states “And then he told them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere.’” (NLT)
Sharing our faith is not a spiritual gift, nor does it require special training, it is sharing your story to people whom God has prepared to hear. I must admit that I am passionate about evangelism. That is probably because I was not raised in a Christian home and I remember well what it was to be lost and then found. Finding my faith gave me direction and purpose…it gave me confidence and the knowledge that God DOES have a plan and therefore I want others to know that faith as well.
Sharing our faith is an integral part of what we are about as believers. It is about living such an authentic life that those observing us see what we believe maybe before they hear what we believe.
I have found that so many are hungry to hear the truth of Jesus and so many of us are too afraid to share. Can you imagine the explosion of growth in our churches, if everyone won just one individual to Christ? Can you imagine the encouragement to our church leadership to see genuine conversions to our faith?
As a believer, I am never more encouraged than when I have had an opportunity to lead people to Christ. When we allow the Spirit of God to lead us in our conversations and our lives, He opens the door to so many opportunities to share of His grace and mercy. We have to remember that we are now in a world that doesn’t know the gospel of Jesus. They do not know about creation or the virgin birth…BUT the good news is that they want to know. I have found now, personally, that so many are hungry to hear the truth of God but are too intimidated to go through our church doors to find out. That is why we must “go and tell”.
So, what do I have to contribute to “Church Multiplication”? We believers need to get serious about meeting one on one with individuals to share the life changing faith that Jesus gives. There are no secrets or formulas but just sharing honestly that we are imperfect people living in an imperfect world who have been rescued by a perfect Saviour who is waiting to rescue them. There is no greater privilege than to introduce people to Jesus and then to see them ushered into His fold. This miraculous healing gift of Jesus is worth sharing. I must admit, I am pretty hooked on it and I pray you will be too!
Let’s watch our churches grow not for the sake of growing but for the sake of souls transformed!!
Jan MacPhail is a Ministerial Candidate with The
Free Methodist Church in Canada