If you find yourself enjoying chips, cookies, and sugary cereal more than you should during the pandemic, you aren’t alone. What you may not realize is how many millions of dollars of research in the food science field is aimed at making really bad-for-you-food surprisingly attractive to you.
The perfect soda fizz, the right combination of crunch in a chip, or the meticulous attention given to making french fries crunchy on the outside and smooth on the inside are all products of a lab and resemble little to nothing of the food sources created by God in nature.
If I’ve just made you hungry for a piece of pizza, crisp crust and gooey top, sorry. But it does illustrate a point: we are drawn to things that we enjoy, which is why a bag of Oreos sounds— and tastes—better than a bowl of kale.
In Part One of this series, I talked about the importance of a mindset of advance, renewing our mission and looking toward gospel outreach and care.
Here, I want to look specifically at ways you might share the gospel in your community. Let’s be honest; for a lot of Christians, evangelism is more like kale than comfort food. How can we create momentum for evangelism that will cause believers to engage?
Start Where People Are
We do so by looking at ways that fit our people and their gifts and abilities. In a conversation with Rick Warren some time ago, he observed the biblical truth in John 14:6 that there is only one way to come to the Father, and that is through Jesus. Then he added,
But, there are a lot of ways to Jesus. People come to Christ for different reasons. Some come out of fear. Some come out of questions. Some come out of hunger. Some come out of pain. Some come out of suffering. Some come out of guilt, or worry, or boredom, or bitterness.
Rick’s point is a fundamental one in evangelism: start where people are and take them to Jesus. But that doesn’t only apply to the unchurched. We also take believers where they are and help them take the gospel to unbelievers. How do we do this?
Take a good look
Begin by looking to God in prayer.
Ask God for wisdom in how best to connect people who love Jesus with people who need Jesus. James reminds us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting” (James 1:5-6a). We aren’t smart enough to lead without God’s guidance; thankfully, it is only a prayer away.
Next, look at the people in your church.
Every believer has abilities, gifts, and interests that can be used for their witness. What are some of the more obvious ways people serve well in your church? Is hospitality a common thing? Do you have a number of extraverted, gregarious types? Do you have a number of people talented in music or creativity? Who are the people who serve readily?
Third, look to the fields, as Jesus said (John 4:35).
What are the pressing needs? Who are the groups of people most in need of care? Who are the unbelievers that people in your church already know?
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Source: Christianity Today