If you’re like many people in America, your existence can be divided into two very distinct periods of time: your life before your first time on a roller coaster, and your life after. Everyone who has experienced one of these thrill rides can remember the fear and nerves they felt in the moments leading up to their first ride. In most situations, friends or older siblings provided just enough peer pressure to push you into something you felt certain would kill you. However, like most people, you put on a brave face, clicked the safety bar down that one last click to lock you in, and shut your eyes tight. After that first ride, almost everyone wants more; you’ve beaten your fears, you didn’t die, and, more importantly, you didn’t throw up. You actually enjoyed yourself, and you begin looking for the next big thrill, with more loops, higher climbs, and steeper drops.
I believe that sharing the Gospel is a lot like riding a roller coaster; you will never know how fun it is until you actually experience it for yourself. No matter what you’re told about it, you just can’t understand it until you actually do it. The problem is, like some people with roller coasters, you have allowed fear and anxiety to keep you from ever getting on the ride. For some reason, we harbor fears of rejection and embarrassment when it comes to sharing our faith, and many Jesus loving people can’t remember a time where they actually shared the Gospel. At Midweek Worship this past Wednesday, the students learned that sharing the Gospel, like riding a roller coaster, is actually fun, and even exciting. The problem we encounter is that we just don’t know how to get started. If you’re feeling the weight of Jesus’ command to “go and make disciples,” here are two things you can do to get started.
1. Pray for discernment. Part of sharing the Gospel is finding “people of peace.” In John 3 we get a glimpse of Jesus sharing the Gospel with Nicodemus. This man was a Pharisee- a member of a religious group absolutely opposed to Christ. However, God had prompted an interest in Christ, and Nicodemus was open to hearing more. If you’re just starting to share the Gospel, don’t start with the president of the local atheist organization; pray each day that God would connect you with people who are already interested in Him.
2. Start talking about religious things with non-believers. An easy way to discover people of peace is by asking simple questions like “what’s the major religion in the country in which you were born?” or “what do you think would help our country through (insert most recent tragedy)?” Without a doubt, these conversations will easily lend themselves to spiritual themes, and if you truly listen and engage, you will find that God will give you multiple opportunities to talk about Him. Don’t go in with a game plan to throw religious ideas in their face, but just listen, and then offer your own thoughts.
After praying for discernment, and bringing up religious things with non-believers, you will quickly discover who is ready to hear the Gospel. If they immediately become hostile, then don’t hesitate to change the subject. However, if they follow along with you as you discuss your faith, then you may not see them come to know Christ then and there, but you’ll definitely give them something to chew on as they sit in traffic on the way home.
Minister to Students