A half year ago Michelle and I spent time at Lausanne Movement's historic younger leaders gathering in Madison, WI near the heardquarters of InterVarsity.
InterVarsity is a collegiate ministry that put on the recent Urbana Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, where more than 16,000 young people gathered around the gospel, and more than 4,000 of these committed their lives to missions and the spread of the gospel. You don't have to look far to see that God is moving in America today.
At NAYLG, we met and spent several days in a small group talking about reaching cities with the gospel, with the director of Lausanne for North America, a godly man named Paul Cedar.
Paul is renown in his efforts with Lausanne, Mission America Coalition, Love2020 and other Spirit-led initiatives that have brought the gospel to countless homes.
One of the focuses of Paul's life and work has been the simple, often overlooked idea to: Pray, share and care the gospel.
The vast majority of Christians do just one or two of these 3 vital movements to get the gospel out.
Many Christians simply care for others. While other Christians may pray. And of course, some Christians share the gospel, but they do very little caring or praying for that matter. We have to have all 3.
Pray - Prayer recognizes that we can do everything God calls us to do, but only in His power. We are needy of God's Presence. If God doesn't go with us, no one will see the light of the gospel in the face of Christ, no matter how hard we try (John 6:44).
Care - What is with Christians that act like jerks online and offline? This happens so frequently, there is a tag (#JesusJuked) on twitter for Christians who one-up each other by quoting Scripture and telling each other they are wrong.
Ask yourself when rebuking other Christians. Is this statement done out of joy? Done out of love? Done out of gentleness? Done out of kindness? Well then … it’s probably not of the Spirit!
Nowhere in Scripture has God ever given us a warrant to be a jerk. It’s that kind of non-Spirit-led, fleshly preaching that turns people from the gospel everyday.
Some Christians are so busy trying to make a point, that they lose credibility to make a difference. You may need to repent, apologize and change.
How is the world supposed to see the grace of God if the people of God are not gracious to each other or to the lost?
Share - While we focus on being people of gentleness and respect, we must not become ashamed of the gospel, or afraid for our own reputation.
When the opportunity allows or the Spirit leads, we must point to Christ and speak of Christ and magnify Christ.
Which of these 3 areas is God working on in your life? Do you agree that most Christians struggle doing all 3? Have you ever encountered another Christian who seemed to be more concerned with making a point than a difference?