Who are you sharing the gospel with?
Two guys that I have really grown to respect over the past year are Dustin Nickerson and Jonathan Cliff. Both have posted recently about the importance of personally being involved in personally and actively living out our faith, outside of our professional context of “children’s minister.”. You can read JC’s recent posts here and here. You can read Dustin’s post about missional community here.
I remember several years ago working through a small group study about evangelism (a group which I was leading by the way) and realizing out loud that I honestly and truly didn’t have a relationship with anyone that was lost. I had gotten so wrapped up in church world and a ministry bubble that my sphere of influence outside of the church for the gospel.
I could give you many good justifications. I could tell you that I got to lead many kids to Christ at the church and I got to equip others to do the same. I was very busy doing His work. And those are good things. But I think I looked at it as I was able to check off the evangelism box. I was doing NOTHING outside of ministry, outside of church events or outreach, to help people who were far from God come to know Him.
I was comfortable in my world of ministry. I could work hard. I could tell lots of kids about Jesus at one time. We could see lots of true and genuine decisions made throughout a year. But, personally, I was checking the box.
I just got to a place where I couldn’t be ok with that anymore.
Over the past year or two, God has done some pretty incredible things and answered some pretty feeble prayers as we took baby steps out of our comfort zone. God has blown us away by His faithfulness. And He has given us precious, precious friends who have grown closer to Him but have helped us grow closer to Him at the same time.
So, let me ask you the really tough questions I’ve asked myself over the past couple of years:
– Are you teaching about evangelism and making disciples or are you living it?
– Are you building intentional relationships with people who may not know God?
– Are you living missionally in the way that you really want the people in your church to?
– Are you putting yourself outside of your comfort zone so that He can connect you to other people?
– Are you connecting with neighbors, ball team families, people at the gym, wherever… not so that you can add one more to the church roll but so that you can build a relationship that might help both of you draw closer to God.
– What little step can you take this week to start personally living on mission?
I’ve got a super long way to go in this area, I know. But my prayer is that God will continue to shave off the parts of my relationship with Him that I have allowed to become “professional” only.
What do you to personally share the gospel with those around you? How do you keep the gospel from just being “professional” for you? Share your story!