As a follow up to yesterday’s message, I’m doing what a few of you suggested and posting the seven practical instructions at the end of the message. (Well, I added one, so it’s now eight) These practical instructions are just that: instructions. This is not a formula. It is a way of preparing your heart and organizing your life for gospel impact in the life of others. Let’s get started.
- Prepare to Share – Pray, read the Word, study, and get instruction with the intention of sharing it with another. We often read, study, and pray with ourselves in view. That’s appropriate of course, but if it stops there, we fall short of the mission of Christ. When you read, pray, and study with others in view you’ll begin to see how the truth connects with those around you. You can become prayerful for them and relate to them in a way that accords with truth and love.
- Get Involved – Go to where the people are. Find a way to put yourself in the middle of the action. Volunteer, serve, practice hospitality, introduce yourself to the barista. There’s an innumerable ways of making this step, so be intentional in the steps you decide to take. You can’t get involved in everything. But with those things that you are involved with, make it count.
- Be Attentive – Look for and walk through the open doors God gives. Many times we don’t see the open doors, because we’re not paying attention. Many times we don’t walk through the open doors we see, because we’re afraid. When you are afraid to share Christ, you have yourself in view and not Christ. When your fear keeps you from sharing Christ with someone, you are more in love with yourself than the one who needs Christ. Repent, push through the awkwardness, and trust God.
- Get Close – Evangelism and discipleship are most effective when it’s a personal relationship. Disciple making is a way of living, not a solitary practice. Share your life with someone else and show Christ to be the centerpiece. Break down your self-protecting barriers, and go deeper than you’re comfortable. Strive to be a person that is easy to get close to. Live the love of Christ before them–toward them.
- Share Christ – You are to share Christ in words and deeds, and often deeds before words. Consider the best way to love the person that is before you, so that Christ may be known to and experienced by the person you are with. A question you might ask: how might the person before me need to hear and experience the love of Christ? A lot more should be said here, but this is a start.
- Wait on the Lord – Be patient and persistent. We often approach sharing Christ with another with particular expectations. We think, often subconsciously, “If I do this, this should happen, and it should happen within this time frame.” When it doesn’t happen that way (and it usually doesn’t), we can get discouraged and give up. Remember, you’re the messenger and nothing more. Fruit will come in God’s time and God’s way. Keep the course. God is always at work, even and sometimes especially when you can’t see it.
- Celebrate – Okay, I’m adding something! Now that I’m writing, another key piece comes to mind and it’s really important. (Can’t believe I didn’t think about it yesterday.) When God works, celebrate it. If it’s a small open door with a neighbor or a good friend that comes to know Christ, celebrate the work of God in others. Make known what Christ is doing, and give him the glory for the way He is showing up in the life of others.
- Repeat – Don’t stop. Go back and prepare some more, get a little more involved, heighten attentiveness, get closer still, share Christ more, keep waiting on God, and celebrate!
Okay, it’s Monday. Who are you going to share Christ with this week?