What keeps us from sharing the Gospel with others?
Until recently I would have given one of three answers:
- Christians don’t know enough about the Gospel
- Christians have few (if any) non-Christian friends
- Christians have become too busy with their own lives
Maybe you would agree. Maybe you feel like you don’t know enough. Or maybe you feel like you no longer have any non-Christian friends. And it’s probably likely that you’re busy–crazy busy even–and you just don’t have time to even make time to share the Gospel with others.
I get it. At different times in my life, I’ve been there. And I’ve thought all the same things.
But Pastors David Platt and Francis Chan wouldn’t agree. As they see it, we don’t share the Gospel because we lack something. And that something isn’t knowledge, non-Christian friends, or more time for our neighbors.
What we lack is just one thing–boldness.
We simply lack the courage to do it.
After recently reading through the book of Acts and preaching on parts of it a couple of weeks ago, I couldn’t agree more. The early church didn’t know everything there was to know about the Gospel. They didn’t have a ton of non-Christian friends. And they had jobs, families, and other things to do. But when it came to sharing the Gospel, they were bold.
So how do we get boldness?
This is where we (and by “we” I mean “I”) tend to make the mistake. We tend to try to motivate ourselves (and others) to go share. We might try to motivate ourselves just to love others, or even just to see people as Jesus sees them.
It might work for a short time. But more times than not, the motivation quickly fades. We stop looking for opportunities. And soon we feel guilty again for not sharing our faith.
So what is the alternative?
The alternative is to stop looking for boldness within ourselves. Because it doesn’t exist in us, and we can’t generate it. The kind of boldness that enables us to share the Gospel only comes from God.
Thus, if we want to be bold we must pray. We must ask the Holy Spirit to give us what we cannot give ourselves. This is what the church in Acts understood. The answer isn’t to try harder. The answer is to pray more. We must first pray for our own boldness, and then pray for each other’s boldness. Only when we start with prayer will we not only see the opportunities to share the Gospel, but we’ll have the God-given courage to actually do it.
If you still have a few minutes, check out this great conversation between David Platt and Francis Chan on Prayer, the Holy Spirit and Boldness. You won’t regret it.