We are continuing our series in looking at practical ways we can be missional wherever the Lord has called us. Last time we talked about the importance of fighting our fear. We can always tell ourselves 10,000 good reasons why not to share the Gospel, but it is that 1 perfect reason to share that we cannot overlook. This week, we will look at another practical step in being missional: sharing with our sphere.
God has placed you in a specific place and a specific time for a purpose. While the ultimate purpose is to honor and glorify Him in that place and time, one vital way we do this is by proclaiming His Gospel of Good News to those who are around us. While this may seem quite self-explanatory, it is something very often neglected, overlooked and refused by Christians every day. Let’s consider why we neglect, overlook and refuse to share the Gospel with those right around us and try to also think through how we can overcome these temptations.
The first reason we tend to forget the people in our sphere is neglect. This means that while God has placed people around us for us to share with, we have become busy or distracted with other things, people or spiritual activities that we have neglected those God has put around us. This can often happen to leaders in Churches who are so focused on 1 area of ministry, (maybe working with young adults), that they have accidentally neglected those God has put into their lives, (co-workers who do not fit into their young adult target).
The easiest way to battle this is to slow down and see each person within your sphere as a person who needs Jesus. This often means spending less time thinking about your area of ministry and more time considering how you can share with the people right around you. While it is good to have a ministry and be actively involved in what God has called you to do, don’t let that get in the way of everyday chances to share the Gospel with people God has placed in your sphere.
The second problem is to overlook the people right in front of you. This typically happens because we see some of the people around us and either think they are so sinful they could never be saved, that they must be uninterested in faith and Jesus or that they are already such a good person they have no need of the Gospel, (all 3 of these are totally unbiblical). The issue here isn’t so much of neglect, but of prejudging a person.
To battle this, you have to remember that God saves people from all kinds of different backgrounds and different sin struggles. God saves both the prostitute from her blatant sinfulness and the Pharisee from his religious sinfulness. To overlook someone in your sphere is to pass judgment on them which we as Christians are never meant to do. Be willing to share with that guy who seems like a super atheist. Ask if you can pray for the partyier in the office. Be willing to invite that perfect person to small group to help them understand moral law following will never save.
But the third reason we don’t share with our sphere I think is the biggest and it is that we just flat out refuse to. This may be out of fear, (see the previous blog post), or judgment or envy. But the truth is that typically there is someone in your life right now you can think of that you should share the Gospel with and you have just refused to do it.
Whatever the reason for your refusal, you need to repent and be willing to go and tell them who Jesus is and what He has done. Use tact and be respectful, but don’t allow tact to be the reason you keep from sharing the single most important truth in this universe with them. Be willing to alter the relationship. Be willing to be that guy or girl who shares their faith. Be willing to suffer if it come to that. But don’t dishonor God by refusing to tell of all He has done. Doing so not only dishonors the Lord but is a disservice to those in your sphere.
God has called you to share with the people He has placed in front of you. You know who they are. Just ask God to give you the strength, courage and boldness to tell them about the Cross of Christ. Through God’s strength we can share with the people right around us who are typically the most difficult to share with! Don’t neglect, overlook or refuse to share with them anymore because you may be the one whom God has planned to get the Gospel to their heart.