By: Stan Rodda
A preacher stands up in front of their church and says, “We need to go out and make disciples. Here’s how we’re going to do it.” What’s your first thought?
Or maybe it’s in your small group. You have been through a study on the Great Commission and the leader decides it’s time to do something. They say, “We’re going to take some practical steps forward and begin reaching our community with the Gospel.” What’s your first thought?
If you’re like many followers of Jesus, fear has already set in just thinking about this idea. Talk to a neighbor/friend/co-worker about Jesus? Share the Gospel? But I’ve never been to Bible College. I don’t know how to preach. I haven’t studied enough. That’s the preacher’s job.
This isn’t an uncommon thought nor is it anything to shy away from. Jesus lives this out very simply on more than one occasion. It seems he makes it a regular part of His strategy to reach people. You’re going to be surprised how simple it is to take a strategic step forward in sharing the Gospel. Ready to hear the answer?
Eat a meal with someone who needs Jesus!
Let’s look at one biblical example of this.
Zacchaeus was up in a tree trying to just get a glimpse of Jesus as He walks through town. Jesus stops in Luke 19 for this encounter, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down because today I must stay at your house.” [Luke 19:5 CSB]
One of Jesus’ first steps when it came to introducing people to the Gospel was to simply eat with them. And in the climate we are currently experiencing in the United States, this simple step has the power to disarm and unite all of us around the message of Jesus. I was extremely encouraged by this recently while watching New Life’s livestream chat on a Sunday morning.
One Sunday Morning on the Livestream…
Each week on Sunday morning, our church utilizes a livestream to share our services with the world. That livestream comes with a chat feature where our chat hosts monitor and connect with people who are chatting back and forth during the service.
After the murder of George Floyd, many people were looking to the church for answers to their questions, to see how followers of Jesus would respond. And I want to share with you a great example of what this strategic step in disciple making looks like. One lady was asking questions and making statements about George Floyd in the chat. She was hurting and for good reason. I was so encouraged by the response of New Lifers.
New Lifer’s Response:
“I can sense you are hurting and you have a story to share. Would you be willing to get a cup of coffee with me soon so we can talk personally?”
“I am so sorry you are hurting. Would you send me a private message on Facebook so we can talk more?”
Way to go, New Lifers!! I was so encouraged by this.
Sometimes in a digital world when everyone is looking for a quick sound bite or meme to prove their point, followers of Jesus can use it to open a dialogue and share the love of Jesus. I want to encourage you by saying, “Don’t over complicate disciple making.” Sometimes it’s as simple as sharing a meal with someone who is hurting, who needs Jesus, who needs a friend. Maybe for you the first step of making a disciple happens online, engaging in a conversation with someone and simply responding, “I would like to hear your story. Can we meet up to talk?”
How do you hear God asking you to obey?
Maybe it’s the name of a friend you can hear in your ears. The face of a co-worker that is coming to mind. Pray for God to go before you, to give you boldness as you invite them to more. If you do, I’d love to hear how it goes. Please share your stories in the comments or message them to me here.