Share Jesus (OUT)
Share Jesus (OUT)
In the previous two posts of this short series about the purpose of FBC Doylestown, we’ve explored how the church is called to love God and love others, which are everyday rhythms we call UP and IN. To conclude the series we’ll look at the final part of our shared purpose, which is to share Jesus (OUT). As I touched on in previous posts, these are not three easy steps towards church growth or best practices or a formulaic way to increase church financial giving...these are the heart of what a healthy church is. Therefore, since the church is an identity, not a location, this means that lives which have been transformed by God will increasingly demonstrate each of these three everyday rhythms.
Here’s where this conversation gets tricky: some people understand sharing Jesus to be something that only those who are “gifted evangelists” do, or maybe something that is reserved for the extroverts who never get tired of talking to strangers. Even reading this is making some of you introverts feel anxious! While there is such a thing as a spiritual gift of evangelism that has been given to some to help equip the church (Eph. 4:11-12), Paul reminds us that this isn’t only a task for the gifted when he encourages his younger mentor Timothy to “do the work of an evangelist” (2 Tim. 4:5). And here’s the good news...doing evangelistic “work” seems less and less like work when you are enamored with Jesus and overwhelmed with gratitude for what he’s done in your life.
Last week Pastor Rodney defined evangelism as the opportunity to share with others what God has done in your life. Think about it - we naturally share what we believe to be good news, don’t we? Good news that we consider worth sharing can be almost anything. A book or movie that we recommend, the result of our favorite sports teams games, an update about a promotion at work, our kids report cards, our recently acquired beach body, a new pet...you get the idea. We give our attention and our passion and our thoughts to the things that we value the most, and we often end up speaking about these things without any formal training or gifting. So let me make a radical suggestion here. If we truly do love God and love others, sharing Jesus will be the most normal thing in the world to accompany these rhythms. In just a few weeks of our Sunday morning series on Mark, we’ll see how Jesus specifically said to his first disciples that following him would result in them becoming men who share the gospel as naturally as they were catching fish (Mark 1:16-18).
I have permission to introduce you to two of my friends, Jimmy and Pat. I’ve known these guys for several years now and we have lots in common: we’ve worked multiple jobs together, played basketball really early in the morning together, recovered from knee surgeries together, rearranged the pews in our church auditorium together (seriously) and have become good friends somewhere along the line. In the picture below that’s them helping earn my children prize tickets at Chuck-E-Cheese for their good report cards. We’ve had many conversations about life and spiritual things over the years, and when I was first asked to consider being an elder with FBC I told them I was being asked to become a volunteer pastor and asked what they thought about that. They’d seen me in all those different situations that I mentioned earlier, so I wanted their input on what they thought about me possibly becoming an elder (see 1 Tim. 3:1-7, particularly vs. 7). It was very humbling to hear them articulate how they’ve seen evidence of God’s work in my life and I can honestly say that I would not have said yes to becoming an elder without their feedback. They would not necessarily consider themselves part of a church family, but I can confidently say that they know they are always welcome.
A healthy disciple of Jesus is no longer merely a fisherman, but a fisher of men. Jesus showed us what a life of UP, IN and OUT looks like. A healthy church family lives UP, IN and OUT together.
If you have any thoughts, questions or feedback you can contact Adam here.