Updated: Feb 8, 2019
By: Lizzie Williams
The great commission: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:19-20). I’m sure we’ve all heard it at church at some point, but have we ever actually stopped and thought about why we are commanded to share our faith? Or have we ever thought about the impact of sharing our faith? Or have we thought about how we share our faith? Well, with outreach coming up, these are things we may want to start prayerfully considering.
So why should we share our faith? It’s so easy to get selfish with our relationship with God and be so consumed with growing in our faith that we neglect to share with others. What do I mean? I mean I’m so caught up in going to church this week to recharge that I don’t invite a friend. Or I mean I read my bible on the bus instead of talking to someone and sharing my joy with them. Now, growing and spending time with God is great, don’t get me wrong. In fact, I think the joy we get from spending time with God is so great that we should want to share it with other people! So instead of reading my bible on the bus, maybe I should wake up a little earlier so I can read it before I leave. Or maybe I should be reading throughout the week so I don’t desperately need to recharge on Sunday, and I can also focus on bringing someone else to church with me.
Another cool way to think about why we should share is this: what do we do when we find a really yummy restaurant? What do we do when we hear a really cool song? We tell people so they can experience it too! Then, how much more should we want to share the love of Christ with people! Jesus didn’t give us the great commission to make introverts feel uncomfortable or to create awkward situations; he gave it to us so that everyone could experience the joy and love that we have from knowing him. Plus, don’t forget that God created us, so he knows we are prone to talk about the things that we love. Something tells me that maybe God even designed us that way for a reason! That’s right, sharing the gospel can be as easy as telling someone about your new favorite song.
“But sometimes it seems so scary!” Yep, sometimes it does.And it can be extremely uncomfortable, but God didn’t call us to live a life of comfort. We see this in Jesus’s life (a cross isn’t exactly comfy), Paul’s life (thrown in prison multiple times), and in the life of the early church (persecuted just for believing). We are blessed to live in a country where we are free to talk about God without getting imprisoned or killed. However, I understand that we may still face ostracization and judgement from other people. God knows that and he still gave this command. While it can seem like a daunting task, ask yourself what is more important, what other people think of you or what God thinks of you? Furthermore, know that God promises to protect us and to never ever leave us nor forsake us. You will not be sharing alone because God will be with you every step of the way. And I’m sure if you asked, one of your sisters would be there as well.
Maybe it isn’t introverted tendencies that keeps you from sharing, but maybe you just don’t feel like you know enough. I feel that. But here’s the thing, the people Jesus chose as disciples were not Bible scholars; actually, they were just the opposite. They were average joes, just like you and me. But I’ll give it to you that they did still spend a lot of time with Jesus before going out and spreading the gospel without him by their side, so let’s look at someone else. The woman at the well met Jesus once and then went back and shared her testimony with her city, and because of her “many Samaritans believed in [Jesus]” (John 4:7-42). Do you think this woman who was living in sin and only met Jesus once was equipped to share the gospel with her city? I don’t. But she did, and they believed. If she had waited until she knew everything about God, she never would have told her city, and they would not have believed. In the same way, we will not know every little thing about God until we get to heaven. So if we keep waiting to know everything before we share, then we will never share. All we can do is spend time with God each day, growing in our faith, preparing for when the time comes and taking that chance when available. God tells us to not fear, and it applies here as well (Mark 5:36, Philippians 4:6, Proverbs 29:25). Also, we know that when we lack the words to say, God will intercede for us (Romans 8:34).
So, what is the impact of sharing our faith? Besides the fact that God told us to, why is this important? Well, just taking 5 minutes out of your day to share your testimony or the good news of the gospel could plant a seed that ultimately leads to someone being saved. We know that when people accept Jesus they go from being dead to alive. How cool is it that God lets us be a part of that! We literally get to help bring people awake from the grave! However, we do need to remember that our job is to share, we ourselves are not the ones who save anyone because that is Jesus. Along those same lines, we can bring a horse to water, but we can’t make it drink. If we share and someone does not immediately accept Christ, we should not be discouraged. What we should do instead is pray for that person and continue to share with them if we can. I can tell you from personal experience that I had a lot of people reject the gospel when I shared it with them. However, I can also tell you that some of those people are now faithful believers. I do not say this to brag, but to point out that we should never lose hope and that God is always at work in their hearts. And I know some people who have still not accepted yet, but I have faith for them too. I also always have to remind myself that their rejection of the gospel is not a rejection of me. So, don’t take it personally if someone is not interested in what you are trying to share.
Above all, trust God, and be faithful. That means follow this command to go and tell others about God, trusting that He will bring these seeds we plant to produce fruit one day and trusting that he will be with us as we share. Pray for those you meet at outreach and for those who are already in your life and don’t believe. And always be praying for one another. Have a blessed week and feel free to reach out to me or Sabrina for any other questions regarding evangelism! And actually, if you email Sabrina the phrase “woman at the well,” then you will get a treat at chapter!