How to Share the Gospel without Inviting Them to a Building
Recently I wrote about the need to stop fishing for new converts among people who are already followers of Jesus. This is especially true among house churches who are often more at ease converting people from traditional churches than they are talking to the lost about Christ. But not everyone is comfortable sharing their faith and very few people really know how to share their faith without inviting them to a building.
There are lots of reasons why sharing our faith is difficult. Fear, insecurity, lack of training, “not having lost friends,” and complacency are all culprits that keep us from sharing our faith. But these can be overcome, if we are willing. Many of these issues made it easy to invite people to a church building to hear a message preached from the front. At that point our job was done and it was the pastor’s job to take over.
The times have changed, though. Our society is less and less willing to darken the doors of an existing church building. As I shared yesterday, existing churches continue to compete for roughly 35% of the population while the remaining 65% goes unreached. All of this means as believers, whether we’re part of house churches or not, will need to become missional in order to reach the lost.
We’ve talked about the definition of missional before. Essentially it means that you leave your world (where many people know Christ) and enter into a world where few, if any, know Christ in order to declare who He is and what He’s done. This going to others with the gospel will be strategic in the days ahead simply because fewer and fewer are coming to us. For those of us who were used to inviting others to hear and are newer to going to those who haven’t heard, I thought I would include a few things to consider:
- Don’t go alone. Jesus said not to, which is a great reason right off the bat. Part of this was for accountability. Going alone could put you in dangerous and morally compromising situations. Having someone with you helps. But having someone who is part of the work also helps you overcome fear. It encourages you when your heart is weary with the work.
- Eat with people. Do it all the time. This is part of the reason Jesus was considered a glutton. He was constantly eating with sinners and those the world wouldn’t accept. There is nothing like food to break down barriers between people. When Jesus sent out missionaries, He told them to “eat whatever is set before you,” (Luke 10:8). Who we eat with still says a lot about who we love, so take time to eat with people who the world thinks you shouldn’t be eating with. It will break down doors and start conversations.
- Tell stories. Jesus was always telling stories about what the Kingdom of Heaven was like. These stories often had twists, turning what everyone thought God or Heaven were like on their heads (See The Story of the Prodigal Son, The Good Samaritan, or The Pharisee and the Tax Collector). But they also pointed people to the goodness of God and the truth of following Him. I always thought I had to come up with my own clever stories that would win peoples’ hearts. But here’s the good news: You can use the ones Jesus tells! They will win peoples’ hearts all on their own.
- Bring God into the process. One of the things I think we forget when we attempt to share the good news is that God is more concerned for the lost and broken than we are! He delights to draw people who don’t know Him to Himself. So we should invite Him into this process. Pray with the sick who you meet with faith that God will heal them. Ask God to give you words of knowledge that reveal God as real to your friends (1 Corinthians 14:24). God will demonstrate that He is real to those who don’t believe, yet.
- Share the Good News of the Kingdom. Talk often about the fact that the death of Jesus has opened the door of God’s Kingdom to people who could never deserve it. I find that often we believe the Gospel has to be hidden until we really get into people’s hearts. Not so! Tell people the Gospel early and often. If you need help, check out this reproducible way of sharing the Gospel. No one get saved if no one speaks the Gospel, so get good at telling the news. Telling it literally unleashes God’s power to save someone.
There’s always more that could be said about this topic, but this is a good start. If this is new to you, start by doing some of these things. Bringing the Gospel to others can be slow and hard at first, but as you do it more, you will both see people respond and get better at following the Holy Spirit. Remember, He is the one who changes hearts, not you.
It’s through this process of partnering with the Holy Spirit to change hearts that lost people come to Christ. As lost people come to Christ and become disciples, churches are started. All of this is part of the mustard seed process that God is doing all over the earth.