Be a Link This WeekFriday, February 4, 2011
Let's talk about evangelism for a moment. Sometimes Christians are afraid to share their faith because they feel totally inadequate to lead another person to Jesus Christ. They worry that they can't answer questions, they fear they won't say the right words, and when you get right down to it, they aren't certain enough of their own faith to consider "sharing" it with anyone else. For most of us evangelism is something that we would like to do but end up leaving to the "experts," whoever they may be.
So what about those fears and worries? My answer may surprise you. The reason you feel inadequate is because you are inadequate. Telling someone how to have their sins forgiven is an enormous responsibility. What if you foul it up and they end up feeling worse? Or what if you somehow get the message backward? I suppose that would be like having a person ask you how to get to Atlanta but you somehow get them so confused they end up in Amarillo instead. That's a major mistake.
Here's the bottom-line truth. You can't lead another person to Christ no matter what you do. And you will never know all the answers to all the questions people ask. And you probably won't say all the right words. And your faith is probably not strong enough as it is.
So what I am suggesting? That Christians shouldn't do evangelism? That we should be like everyone else in America and keep our religion private? Hardly. We are commanded by the Lord to go and make disciples, to go and preach the gospel, to go and be witnesses in his name. It's how we do it, or more accurately, how we think about it, that makes all the difference.
I spent a few minutes with a brand-new Christian. She wants to help others find the Lord but she feels both inadequate and overwhelmed. She doesn't even know where to begin. That's when I took out a piece of paper and wrote "God" on one side and "Your Friend" on the other. Then I drew circles representing links in a chain stretching from "Your Friend" to "God."
Whenever a person comes to Christ, there are usually many people involved. You may be the one who answers a key question. Or you may share a Scripture. Your prayers are certain to be a link in the chain. Your godly example may have a profound influence. Or you may be the one who helps them pray to receive Christ.
The good news about evangelism is that you don't have to lead a person to Christ. Only the Holy Spirit can do that anyway. All you need to do, in fact all you can do, is to be a link in the chain that God uses to bring people to himself.
When I explained this to my friend, she replied with a smile, "I can do that." We all can. Just remember this. Evangelism is the work of many people over time forming links in the chain that leads to heaven.
Be a link for someone this week.