I recently have seen some people in the church I pastor, carry a burden for unchurched in our community. One man left our weekly FAITH Evangelism night, drove to an unchurched friend’s house, and shared the Gospel with him. A high school softball coach asked his team if any wanted to attend a revival service at his church, to which a pew full of the girls attended service with him that night. Many others invited unchurched friends and family members to attend a recent Wild Game Dinner, while still others have had conversations with long-time acquaintances. Lastly, an elementary-age child went to the altar during a service to pray for a kid at school.
Each of these instances were motivated by what the Lord has done in the life of the individual making the effort to reach someone who has not been changed by the power of the Gospel (Romans 1:16). Sadly, these individuals are in the minority among professing believers.
The average church member never shares their faith. Much research has been done that always reaching the same conclusion: the church becomes comfortable and loses its passion to reach those who are far from Christ.
When Jesus healed a man with leprosy in Mark 1, He sent “him away at once with a strong warning: ‘See that you do not tell this to anyone.'” (Mark 1:43-44) Jesus knew that the crowds were following Him because they saw Him as a miracle-worker, not as the Messiah, so He often instructed people not to tell what had happened to them. However, this man in Mark 1 “went out and began to talk freely, spreading the good news” (Mark 1:45).
Why did the man not keep quiet? Because his life had been changed. I believe that when we completely understand the degree to which our lives are changed through the power of the Gospel, we cannot keep it to ourselves. I am willing to give that some personality types may not regularly initiate opportunities to share the Good News, but that does not mean that it is not our responsibility to take advantage of the opportunities that often fall into our laps: a friend asks how you have such a strong marriage; a co-worker asks about something happening at church; a neighbor faces a terminal illness. Such opportunities are all around us.
Mark 2 tells of a paralyzed man who is taken to Jesus by some of his friends. When they arrived at the house where Jesus was, so they climbed to the roof, tore a hole in the roof, and lowered their friend to Jesus, where the friend was ultimately healed. These friends were willing to do whatever it took to get their friend to Jesus, and we must also be willing to do whatever it takes to introduce those around us to the risen Christ that has changed our lives.
Unlike the man in Mark 1, the church today has not been told to keep quiet. Rather, we have been commanded to be witnesses to the ends of the earth. Do whatever it takes!