As a church, we aim to create a variety of forums in which our non-Christian friends and neighbours, colleagues and family, can hear the good news of Jesus Christ. We try to have regular events to which folks can be invited. We offer courses suitable for longer and more relaxed discussions and Bible studies. These are all steps on a journey for many people.
But that journey often begins with a friendship – that’s our experience here at Rock at least. Rarely do we find folks with whom we have had no previous contact coming along to small discussion groups or more public events. Almost always our guests are personally invited by us, the members of Rock.
It is a reminder of the importance of allowing our faith in Jesus Christ to permeate every part of our lives whether we be at home, at work or working out at the local gym. We are not all courageous evangelists, but since Christ is central to who we are and what we do, speaking of Him and our faith, of church life and friends, these things can be, perhaps ought to be, entirely natural to us.
But the truth is, we all struggle sometimes. An opportunity comes along to speak about Jesus to a work colleague and we get nervous, flustered. We panic and keep quiet.
Two things can help.
Firstly, it is good to see the kinds of prayers the Apostle Paul asks for from his partner churches as he goes about sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with others. Take, for example, his prayer request to the church in Colosae:
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. (Col 4v2-4)
Let’s pray for one another in just the same way – for God-given opportunities to share the gospel of Christ with others and then for God-given boldness to share the message clearly at those times.
Secondly, it is good to learn from those particularly gifted at this. The apostle Paul again directs our thinking:
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Eph 4v11-13)
It is always good to remind ourselves that a very important part of the work of gifted evangelists is to help the whole church in its’ witness to the world, to ‘equip his people for works of service’.
To that end, we are delighted that Roger Carswell will be joining us on the morning of Saturday 23rd June. You can find more details and even a video clip to whet your appetite here.
Let’s together pray that through Roger’s encouragement and training, we might better use God-given opportunities to share the good news of Jesus Christ with courage and clarity. Amen!