Last time we covered the first practical way in which we can live out our missionary calling wherever the Lord has called us. We all must be able to share our story, our testimony, about what God has done for and in us. The second practical way we can be missional is to herald the Good News of the Gospel to those around us.
In order to herald Good News, we first need to understand what is Good News. The Good News that is heralded by Christians is the greatest news this world has ever known, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We must never forget that as Christians are true mission is not some political objective or social movement. Our true mission is to make the name of Jesus Christ known throughout the world.
I feel that this is one of the biggest reasons we see so many people calling themselves Christian today yet not on any kind of mission is because they have forgotten what the true mission of a Christian is. Social change is important and something all Christians need to be a part of, (William Wilberforce is a great example of a Christian who stood up for social change), but it is not our ultimate mission. If we forget to proclaim the Gospel in the midst of our social movements, then what is there to distinguish us from non-Christians? We must never forget, our mission is to share the Gospel of Christ because it is exactly what people need the most!
For us to be able to properly share the Gospel of Jesus with others, we ourselves must better understand the Gospel. Think about it. If you have heard a story from a friend 1 time and try to retell it, how well do you do? I know that I don’t do a very good job. But if I have heard that same story from my friend 50 times, (like that crazy family member who shares the same story every family reunion), I can easily retell it to others.
If we want to be missional and desire to share the Gospel with others, we need to really know what we are sharing. Read the 4 Gospels then go read them again. Read the Bible then go read it again. There is nothing in the Word of God that you can ever check off as truly understood and mastered. We must become experts on the Gospel message and this only comes from continual study and meditation on God’s Word.
Now that we know sharing the Gospel is at the core of our Christian mission, (not merely social change or political objectives), and we understand that to share the Gospel we must truly know and understand the Gospel, the final step is to actually go and share. This is the step where many bold Christians give in because this means we need to tell others about Jesus, His Word and His plan.
There are two practical ways in which we can share the Gospel of Jesus with those around us, and I believe both are necessary in order for our sharing to be fruitful. The first way is to use your words. This might sound self-explanatory but I have met so many Christians who have told me that they only show Jesus to others by their actions and never actually use their mouth to proclaim the beauty of the Gospel. Christians, we are called to speak the truth of the Gospel to those around us.
This may seem scary because we are worried someone might have some super anti-Christian argument against the Gospel that we are unable to answer. That is why it is wise to have some sort of relationship with the person you desire to share the Gospel with. Even if they disagree, they will most likely at least be willing to hear you out because of the relationship you share. You also must remember that it is likely that the person you are sharing with has a number of misconceptions about Christians and what we believe. Hopefully your sharing can fix some of those misconceptions and help your friend or family member understand there is more to our faith than mere superstition and blind hope.
The second way to practically share the Gospel with those around you is to live it. Once people know that you are a Christian, they will keep an eye on you to see what makes you different from them. If you just live like a non-Christian would, (in a variety of open sinful habits or behaviors), then a non-Christian will probably assume there is nothing real special about Christianity because you are no different than them. This is why in Matthew 5 Jesus calls us to live counter-cultural lives. Our actions must be different than those around us to show them that there is transformative power in the Gospel.
But we must be careful that as we try to live counter-culturally we don’t forget to also add in vulnerability. Living counter-culturally without any vulnerability can make others around us feel that we are either hiding something, (like hypocrites who preach but only practice for the praise of others), or that we must have everything together and thus they could never become a Christian because they have too many issues.
When we live a life that is both counter-cultural and real about our weaknesses, we are sharing the Gospel with those around us because Jesus came to give us a better culture, (a heavenly one), and to pay for our weaknesses. Using both our lives and our words allows others to better experience the Gospel of Jesus.
This is the mission we are called to as Christians. Our entire hope and faith hinges on the Gospel and what Christ did for us. Thus, for us to fulfill the great command of Matthew 28:19-20 we must make our life’s mission not merely about social change, living a moral life or religious duty but instead about proclaiming the truth of what Christ has done in both word and deed.