By Bishop Lance Johnson
As a pastor, one of the things that has proved to be difficult is getting people to evangelize. Evangelism is not only for the missionaries and those called by God to the priesthood; it is for everyone. Jesus commissioned us to “Go ye therefore and teach all nations...”, yet we have difficulty in sharing the love of Christ with those next door; much less, those around the world.
There have been many attempts at making evangelizing easy over the years. I participated in a program called SEL (Sharing Eternal Life) many years ago. Each week, we would go door-to-door telling others about Christ. It was a great experience where we saw many people saved. There have been many other programs started to help others learn how to share their faith with others. Some of these programs are good, but many have not taken the training required to learn the program.
I have since gotten away from the programs and have learned that there is a much easier approach that comes naturally for most people. So forget about all the formal training you have had or perhaps the lack of training and let’s make evangelism easy.
I find the best way to evangelize comes from a passage in Numbers 10:32. “If you come with us, we will share with you whatever good things the Lord gives us.”
Think about this… after a long time of camping at Sinai, Israel was finally ready to head into the wilderness. Each family group began marching in line as the cloud of the Lord led them by day.. As they set out, Moses asked his brother-in-law Hobab to come with them. Perhaps Moses felt his brother-in-law was familiar with the desert, and the Israelites would benefit from his skills as a guide.
Moses’ invitation wasn’t made just for what Hobab could do for Isreal, but also for what Israel could share with Hobab. Moses said, “Come along, ‘for the Lord has promised good things to Israel.’” Moses knew that God would bless Israel, and he wanted Hobab to experience those blessings. In essence, Moses was inviting Hobab to join in the spiritual inheritance of Israel.
As Christians, are we inviting others to join in and experience all the blessings that God has bestowed and/or promised to us? We are tremendously blessed by God and why wouldn’t we want others to share in those blessings?
It is so easy for us to resist sharing our faith because we feel like we’re pushing something on someone else. But when we share the good news of Jesus Christ, we are calling others to come along and experience the grace and the love of God. God calls us to keep sharing His good news and love with others.
Moses promised Hobab, “We will share with you whatever good things the Lord gives us.” Part of living for God is in sharing the good things of God with others.
Think for a moment about who you could invite to come along on the journey of grace and faith. We all have friends and relatives who enjoy being blessed. God’s grace is too good to keep to ourselves. Let’s share it and teach our parishioners to do the same!