In this blog, we will be discussing “sharing the gospel.” This is not synonymous with a church invitation. Sharing the gospel means telling people about Jesus and how they can be saved through Him. I believe that inviting others to church is crucial but Jesus’ words emphasize the importance of personal disciple-making for each individual believer.
Just before Jesus ascended back into Heaven, He gave one last set of instructions.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
This is known as the Great Commission, why? Because it is the task that Jesus gave to us before He left earth in bodily form. It’s our one job from the Big Man upstairs, we are to Go and make disciples of all nations.
According to a study conducted by Barna Research Group, 73% of all Christians know and agree that it is our personal responsibility to share our faith. Yet only 52% said they’d actually shared their faith with an unbeliever. So we know that it is our responsibility to share the gospel but we don’t. Why?
(Also, for the 27% that doesn’t believe it’s our responsibility… Matthew 28:19? Read your bible bruh… much love!)
The JesusFilm project put out a poll asking Christians why they don’t share their faith and the overwhelming reason was… fear.
Christians are afraid of conflict, looking foolish, and complicating relationships. Which is all understandable. A lot of society is telling us if we love people we won’t try to change them. I want to challenge that assumption for a moment.
Imagine your friend is terminally ill, they’ve come to accept that fact and are awaiting death. You discover the cure, do you allow your friend to remain in their current state because you love them and you accept them as they are, or do you fight with everything you have to save their lives? If you love them, you will want to see them saved.
The cure we have in Jesus is infinitely more valuable than the cure for cancer, we may buy our friends a few more years on earth but they will inevitably die again. When we bring those we love to Jesus we secure their eternity, a loving friend would want to see their friend saved. It is not loving to watch your friend die eternally when you have the cure.
Fear will come, pray Joshua 1:9 over that spirit of fear:
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
If we believe in scripture, we believe that God will be with us wherever we go. That includes talking to that friend about Jesus, pray Jeremiah 1:9, and start the conversation. Don’t think about it and act. Do it today. Right now, immediately after reading this blog.
No Opportunities (17%):
17% said they simply don’t have any opportunities to share their faith. Which is an interesting reason that I hadn’t even thought about. I believe this may be from a simple misconception, disciple-making opportunities will not always fall directly into your lap, you need to seek them out.
Notice the first words in Matthew 28:19:
Go and Make
Go. I looked it up in Greek and it means… to go. To depart. To leave out for another destination. Go means that we go out intentionally looking for these opportunities to make disciples of Jesus. We don’t expect them to always fall into our laps but we walk with purpose toward them. We can all probably name 3 lost people that we “could” encounter on a daily basis if we tried, GO to them, be intentional, be real, and tell them about Jesus.
John Maxwell has a goal of reaching 100 lost people a year. He says, he simply doesn’t have time to hang out with Christians. If you invite him to golf, he’s likely not going unless you’re bringing a lost person that he can tell about Jesus. This is the kind of intentionality that if the church had, we would change the world in a day.
Pray out Proverbs 16:3 – Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.
Commit to the LORD whatever you’re doing, do it for God, and watch how He will work!
Not Equipped (10%)
I believe this to be a greater hindrance than admitted in this survey. In my past, I know how ill-equipped I’ve felt to share the gospel, what if I say something wrong, leave something out, can’t answer questions, etc. I’ve also seen this in students as I’ve asked them to show me how to share the gospel.
As I wrap up this post, I want to share a simple flexible method for sharing the gospel that I learned this week called the Three Circles method. It is very simple, you learn these three circles and you can effectively share the full gospel in a conversational way. (There are other methods that may appeal to you, I’ll leave a list linked at the bottom of the post.)
Circle One: God’s Design
In this circle, we simply talk about God’s perfect design. That God created the world perfect, without disease, pain, or death. Creation was perfect, just how God made it to be. It was our sin, our rebellion against God that brought pain, suffering, and brokenness.
God has a perfect design for our lives. We were all created with a purpose – to worship Him and walk with Him. When we deter from this, we break the perfect plan for our lives and it always leads to brokenness.
A natural segway into this could be the mention of pain (headache, COVID, stiff back, etc.), worry, or even weight loss. This could be a great opportunity to slip into talking about how God’s plan for us is perfect and without pain or suffering. Then move into how it was sin that led us into brokenness where all this pain and stuff is.
From God’s Design, we move to brokenness, we live in brokenness because of our sin. Life doesn’t work when we ignore God and His original design for us. Sin is when we choose our way over God’s way of doing things, when we choose our imperfect way, we distort God’s perfect design.
The consequence of sin is separation from God, both in this life and for all eternity. Sin leads us to brokenness.
Friend: “I could hardly get out of bed this morning, my back is killing me.”
Me: “Same here! That’s been an every morning thing for me for a while! I wish we could go back to Eden and live in God’s original plan. Ya know, before all this pain and suffering.”
Friend: “Right, that’d be awesome.”
Me: “Right! To be walking in perfection, peaceful and free! Sounds like a dream doesn’t it? Ya know, it’s not though. That’s the promise we get from God, if we believe in His Son and what He did for us, we can experience His perfection once again… We lost perfection because we sinned and rebelled against God, we deterred from the perfect plan He had for us. That’s what put us in this place we’re in now but hey, there’s good news at the end of the story!”
Circle Two: Brokenness
This circle is all about where most of us live our lives before Christ. Sin leads to brokenness. We see this all around us and in our own lives as well. Often, when we live in this circle we are unfulfilled, and rather than turning to the only thing that can fulfill us we turn to more broken things that leave us just as empty as before. We tend to go in many directions trying different things to solve the problem ourselves but they all fall short.
Brokenness is evidence of our need for something greater.
Brokenness is another great place to start the conversation. When a friend is complaining about how bad life is right now, how they’re struggling to break an addiction, when someone they love is struggling with a sin, etc. We can begin to talk about how because of our sin, we have deterred from God’s perfect plan and now live in a constant state of brokenness. Trying to fulfill ourselves by our own means and failing every time.
There is good news here. Because there is Hope that comes in Jesus.
Circle Three: Jesus
This circle is where we talk about Jesus. This is the big point, the climax of the story, the punchline that brings it all together, this is where the power of salvation is.
We have laid out the problem of Brokenness, now we lay out the remedy. Because of His love for us, God did not leave us in our brokenness. Jesus, God in human flesh, came to us and lived a perfect sinless life according to God’s perfect design.
He came to rescue us — to do for us what we could not do for ourselves. He took our sin and shame to the cross, paying the penalty of our sin by His death.
Think of it like this, if you break the law you are responsible for paying for it right? If you were speeding, got pulled over, and were given a fine then you’d have to pay it, correct? You went to court, only to realize the fine was far greater than you could have ever imagined, far beyond your ability to repay. Jesus steps in and pays that price for you.
You and I are found guilty before God, we are guilty of sin and rebellion from His perfect design. Our penalty is death and eternal separation from Him, a just judge must uphold the law, so God requires payment for the crimes committed and that payment must be blood. Jesus loved you so much that He took your place and shed His blood to pay for your sins.
He then rose from the dead, defeating sin and death. He provided a way for us to be rescued and restored to a relationship with God. A free gift of salvation that we need only to say “Yes” to.
We say “Yes” by repenting and believing.
When you’ve moved from Brokenness to Jesus and laid out how we can escape brokenness, you simply ask your friend if they’ve ever accepted Jesus. Be clear about this, we don’t want false conversions. Maybe have Romans 10:9 written down somewhere, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Clarify, have you ever accepted Jesus as your Savior and lived your life like Him?
- If Yes, say “That’s awesome, I’d love to hear your story!” and listen. (Discern if it sounds genuine or not. Move on through the circles if needed.)
- Ask where they go to church.
- If nowhere, invite them to Grace!
- If somewhere say “That’s awesome!” and now you have someone to talk about your faith with.
- If No, say “Based on what we’ve talked about today, would you want to take that step in following Jesus? It doesn’t have to be weird, it’s just a prayer we can pray together to Jesus.”
- If they say “Yes” Continue the circles and pray with them at the end.If they say “No” don’t push, you’ve laid the groundwork. Say, “No problem I understand it can be a lot all at once. If you change your mind, let me know and I can help you through it!” (Be supportive and make sure they know you’re available.)
REPENT & BELIEVE
When they are ready to move to the gospel, we have to show them how to get there. We move from Brokenness to the gospel through believing in Jesus and repenting of our sin.
Simply being given a gift isn’t enough. We need to accept it. We do this by Repenting and Believing in Jesus.
We must admit our sinful brokenness and stop trusting in ourselves. We don’t have the power to escape this brokenness on our own, we need to be rescued. We ask God to forgive us for our sins and trust only in Jesus. This is what it means to repent and believe.
When we repent and believe we receive new life in Christ and God turns our lives in a new direction.
You can lead your friend through this step after sharing they’ve chosen to accept the gospel. Talk about how this is an amazing decision and we are saved by believing that Jesus died for us and rose from the dead and turning from our sin and brokenness and choosing Jesus daily.
When they’ve chosen to repent and believe in Christ, then bow your heads and pray with them. Have them repeat the prayer after you audibly and pray all we talked about or have them pray a prayer like the Sinner’s Prayer:
Lord Jesus, this is my simple prayer to you. I know that I am a sinner and that I often fall short of the glory of God. No longer will I close the door when I hear You knocking. By faith, I gratefully receive Your gift of salvation. I’m ready to trust You as my Lord and Savior. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for coming to Earth. I believe You are the Son of God who died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead on the third day. Thank You for Your forgiveness of sins and for giving me the gift of eternal life. I invite Jesus to come into my heart and be my Savior. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
You’ve done it, you’ve won a soul for the Kingdom of God and a life has been changed forever. This is the time where you invite them to church and help them in their growth in Christ, this process is called discipleship. You help them get started in their walk with God, buy them a bible, download the bible app on their phone, pick them up for church, pray with them regularly, send texts, etc. Find ways that you can be present to help them grow in Christ. None is attacked by the enemy like a new believer, be their shield until they are strong enough to stand against the attacks.
The final step in the circles is the step you are in now. If you are a Christian, you are SENT. That is the great commission that we discussed earlier. This is the step you are in now. You go into Brokenness with the message of the gospel and you help others escape the mess you were once in.
Life on Mission – 3 Circles App
20 Different Gospel Presentation Methods: https://dudedisciple.com/methods-of-evangelism/
Sinner’s Prayer: Lord Jesus, this is my simple prayer to you. I know that I am a sinner and that I often fall short of the glory of God. No longer will I close the door when I hear You knocking. By faith, I gratefully receive Your gift of salvation. I’m ready to trust You as my Lord and Savior. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for coming to Earth. I believe You are the Son of God who died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead on the third day. Thank You for Your forgiveness of sins and for giving me the gift of eternal life. I invite Jesus to come into my heart and be my Savior. In the name of Jesus, Amen.