One of my favorite ministry opportunities in Australia was helping out with a conversational english group at the local library once a week. What made this so much fun (and frightening) is that group included Buddhists, Muslims, Catholics, and individuals who had little interest in God.
The first week they asked why I was there, and responded with looks of confusion when I told them I was a Baptist Minister because they had never met a Missionary before…almost immediately one of them asked “what does that mean?”
In that moment I wanted to share the whole Gospel but didn’t. Not because I was ashamed of God’s Word, but because going through it all at once would be an overwhelming experience for those who don’t have a foundation of Biblical truth. So instead I took this opportunity and others God gave to clarify what the Gospel taught.
- There is only one God, and He created us
- We are broken, and unable to live a Holy life on our own
- God is Holy (and cannot tolerate sin) so our rebellion separates us from Him
- Because we are broken, God chose to send His son Jesus to die for our sins
- In Christ we are no longer broken, and can become Children of God
As I continued to clarify these and other truths they started coming to me with questions about God. Eventually some when bringing their friends would point at me and say “that’s John he is a Baptist Minister!” which for them meant “this guy will answer your questions about God!”
I’ll never forget the Tuesday when one of them asked me, “okay exactly what is the difference between what you believe, and what we believe.” That question was followed by a forty-five minute conversation about our need of a Savior, and the eternal punishment of sin.
I wish I could tell you they accepted Christ, but unfortunately that isn’t true. It’s my belief though that moment would have never taken place if they hadn’t understood clearly the foundational truths of Scripture.
Social-Media in my opinion can be referred to as a mission-field since countless people use it everyday to find their identity or purpose in life (I find myself doing this sometimes). But we must be careful in how this digital mission-field is approached
Yesterday I wrote a post about the danger of debating political or spiritual issues online . While in most cases the Christian view is defended, our mind is focused on “proving the other person wrong or ourselves right” so we aren’t actually paying attention to what they are saying.
This can break down into the trading of verbal punches or attacks to the point where we aren’t even talking about the original subject matter anymore. The real problem with this is it’s ineffective…they aren’t going to change our mind, and we won’t change theirs (since we aren’t really listening anyways).
That’s why the Lord is helping me focus less on how broken (corrupt) the world is, and how incredible the Gospel is.
See I could have pointed out the brokeness of all those English students that first day, but instead chose to start clarifying exactly what the Gospel was.
Because deep down inside they knew that they were broken.
They knew that life shouldn’t work this way
They knew that there had to be something more
Today we are still living in a society that knows it’s broken (unable to save themselves), and spends almost every day trying to cover up that brokenness, or fill it with something that takes away their pain. So for me to yell and scream at that person “your broken!” isn’t going to make much of a difference.
They need to know the rest of the story…
God doesn’t want you to be broken…
His son died on a cross so you wouldn’t have to be…
You can be whole
Does this mean we refuse to the confront the sins of our culture? Of course not! But in the end it’s better to let the Holy Spirit use God’s Word to convict hearts instead of our own arguments.