Post by Pastor Tim – Each member of our church took on the challenge of proclaiming the gospel to five people last week. This should be a relatively easy thing to do, but realistically most of us struggle with proclaiming the gospel to five people in the course of a year, let alone one week. We met together on Sunday to discuss what happened, and I observed some important elements which should help each and every one of us in our future gospel proclamations.
- The “gospel” itself is a pretty specific thing and shouldn’t be confused with testimonies, apologetics, or Christian catch-phrases. Check out 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 for a clear statement of the gospel.
- We often fail to proclaim the gospel to those people who are most important to us. For example, many of us think of the grocery store cashier or the neighbor that’s ten doors down instead of proclaiming the gospel to our own family members. Last week, I made it a point to repeatedly proclaim the gospel to my kids and my wife. At one point during the week, my son’s behavior was disobedient and I asked him if he wanted to be behaving like that when Jesus returns. At that point, I was able to share the gospel with him and we reflected on his behavior together in light of the gospel. Another group of people that we often fail to proclaim the gospel to are other Christians. We think that because they are already Christians, they don’t need to hear the gospel again. But we take a lot for granted when we skip over them in light of someone else.
- When we share the gospel, we would like for the right opportunity to fall into our lap, but that rarely, if ever happens. Pastor Foley reminded us that the right opportunity is not when people give an invitation to hear the gospel, but rather when people show no interest and laugh at your initial proclamation.
- The most important thing that I learned was the need for an organized, daily reflection on gospel proclamation. In other words, it’s important to take the time to reflect upon the gospel proclamations that were made that day as well as the missed opportunities. For example, if you missed an opportunity to share the gospel why did you miss it? Is there a step you can take to make sure you don’t miss it next time? If you did proclaim the gospel, what exactly did you say? Was your gospel proclamation clear and understandable? Can you do better the next time?
The purpose of this detailed review isn’t to be formulaic about proclaiming the gospel, but to help us grow and improve in our proclamations. If we don’t take the time to review and reflect then we’re apt to make the same mistakes we did in our last presentation.
I’m not sure if everyone in our church met their goal of proclaiming the gospel to five people, but everyone did proclaim the gospel to a variety of people including close family members, extended family members, friends, neighbors and co-workers. And as a result of the time of reflection, the members of our church are better prepared to proclaim the gospel the next “opportunity” that they get.