I’ve decided to ask a few people to write occasional articles for me to use at Borrowed Light. Nick Horton is one of those fine souls to agree to do this. He blogs at http://nicholashorton.wordpress.com/and you can follow him on Twitter @NickHorton
I walked towards the first door of the evening. My heart was beating a touch faster. My mouth was dry. I worried about what they would say. How would they take it? Would they shut the door in my face? Turn me down cold? Argue with me? I thought through what I was going to say. Prayed a quick prayer and then…
*knock knock knock*
The door opened. A young woman peered out at us, a bit suspiciously, it seemed.
“Hi, I’m Nick, we’re from First Baptist Church, right over there.” I turned and gestured toward the church, mostly visible a hundred yards away. “Do you have a few minutes to talk? We’re trying to get to know our neighbors.”
“Ok,” she said.
So began my first experience with door-to-door evangelism. Pastor decided we needed to get out of the church building and reach our neighborhood, and beyond that, our city. He was right. Often we retreat within the walls of the church as though it is some fort, a bastion against the world. Us versus them. Is this how it should be?
Christianity lives and dies on the sharing of news. “Gospel” means good news. We have the good news of Jesus Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice for sinners, and His resurrection and offer of eternal life for the same. We have the best news in the world! We have the very words of life; news that applies to everyone without exception.
Christ commanded that we go and make disciples. Can that happen without sharing the gospel? Paul said in Romans 10:14-15; “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? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent?” Indeed, how will they believe in Him whom they have not heard, if we don’t tell them?
There are many reasons we don’t share the good news. Lets lay our cards on the table and name just a few:
- Unbelief. This is really the root of many others. Somewhere in us there is unbelief in the promises of God, His truth, or perhaps His goodness. We are being disobedient. Evangelism is not only for the gifted. Christ made no such distinction in the great commission.
- Fear of man. I had this as I walked up to the first door, and still do. We’re afraid of what people will say, that we will be rejected. Perhaps we’re worried they won’t approve of us. Our focus, then, is on our performance. We’re worried we won’t do it right. We’re worried something we say will keep them from Christ. This is selfishness because it’s not about us. Yet, our fears and worries betray our self-centeredness. God draws sinners, not us. (John 6:44) This is not about how awesome we are, how many bible verses we know, or whether we’re the next Billy Graham. This is about God saving sinners using a message communicated by sinners.
- Laziness. There are many distractions in life. Technology, TV, movies. Endless gadgets and things to do. It’s not that you can’t ever do those things, but when will you make time to share the gospel? Which master holds sway over your heart?
There will likely never be a time when there isn’t some sense of nervousness, inadequacy, unbelief, rebellion, laziness, fear, or any other number of feelings seeking to derail sharing your faith. The very faith you share is the only thing God has given you to share. Meaning, armed only with our faith in God, we share His gospel.
This is by design. God has removed our performance from His success, which is incredibly freeing. Consider; all you are to do is release the word and leave the results to God. He is faithful. After all, we’re not seeking to win people to us. We’re seeking to win them to Christ.
One day a lady criticized D. L. Moody for his methods of evangelism in attempting to win people to the Lord. Moody’s reply was "I agree with you. I don’t like the way I do it either. Tell me, how do you do it?" The lady replied, "I don’t do it." Moody retorted, "Then I like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it."