Share the Gospel, Save the World

Hand Raising Extroverts and Introverts poll – My People

I’m a card carrying introvert.  I come from a family of introverts.  I remember multiple family vacations where we would go to book stores – purchase books and come back and all read … on vacation.  My family sits around and turns the 2000 piece puzzle set upside down because they need more of a challenge.   There was a running joke that I was a mute when I first attended Faith and Victory Church.  It was only mostly joking.  I am more comfortable listening than I am talking.

I have ALWAYS struggled with sharing the gospel and sharing my faith, even today as I’m called to preach this message I struggle with it.  Being an introvert means unless God miraculously changes me I’ll continue to struggle with sharing the gospel for the rest of my life.  Sometimes I’m jealous of Pastor Matt.  Why wasn’t I given the ability to just talk with people?  He has the gift of gab.  It looks SOOO natural.   When I share my faith it feels like I’m a robot or reading straight from some kind of pamphlet.

The truth is that it doesn’t matter that I’m an introvert,  it doesn’t matter that I struggle, it doesn’t even matter that I sound like a robot.  God wants ME and you to share the gospel.  Being an extrovert or “good” at it has nothing to do with it.  God has called each and every one of us to share the gospel regardless of how we feel about it.

1 Corinthians 1:17 – For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

That’s me without wisdom and eloquence.  Give a few weeks to plan I can do anything.  I can even stand up here and give a sermon.  You put me on the spot without preparation though and I’m a mess.  I don’t reference the greek, I don’t know the Bible verses, I may even forget whole Bible stories, I’ll probably struggle to find the words I want to say, I’ll probably sway side to side and you’ll probably get a lot of umms and uhhs.  None of that matters though … the power is what happened on the cross.  The power is from Christ Jesus’s sacrifice.

Romans 1:16 – For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

I struggle not with being ashamed of the gospel message but being ashamed of myself sharing the gospel message.  I think things like there is no possible way people could leave a conversation with me and think that Jesus is real.  It’s not about me.  My ego and my fear of rejection get in the way of doing what God commanded me to do.  It says the Power of God that brings salvation.  It doesn’t say the power of Todd … even though it rhymes.  I have to get over myself.

Matthew 9:37-38 – Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Our church is located in the city of Auburn population of roughly 80,000 people.  Currently we are the second largest Bible believing Christian church in Auburn with a Sunday attendance of about 500 people.  Meaning our church represents a little more than half of one percent of the population of Auburn.  I did the rough guestimate math (I rounded up and counted any church close to Christianity) for the population of all the churches in Auburn and around 4000 people or 5% of the population of Auburn attending any type of Christian Church.   The statistics also tell us that a BUNCH of those people in those churches are filled with old people that won’t be around in 20 years.  The harvest is plentiful.

We aren’t even scratching the surface of the amount of people that need to be saved RIGHT IN OUR BACK YARD.  We don’t have to leave for a foreign country to share the gospel.  We can do it with our neighbors and coworkers right here in Auburn and King County.  When I describe what this church is life I often use the word missional.  We aren’t in the heartland where I grew where everyone knows the basic gospel message.  There are people that walk through that door that know nothing about the love of Jesus.  The workers ARE FEW and WE (me included) are it.

In the same way that I’m not a talker, I’m a man with a plan.  I sit around and strategize and think about what I’m going to do well before I’m ever comfortable taking action.  I tend not to rush into anything.

So I’m not going to leave with just the conviction of sharing the gospel.  I’m going to leave you with a specific things you can do this week to share the gospel.    A plan if you will.

Share the Gospel and Use words

I hear this phrase a lot – “Preach the Gospel at all times.  When necessary, use words.” – It’s credited to being said by St. Francis of Assisi.  Mostly we (me) as Christians use this as an excuse to not share the gospel using words when 1. It’s not in the Bible and 2.  It’s not even a correct interpretation of what St. Francis said.  After some research, a more correct version of what St. Francis said was “It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.”

Do you see the subtle difference?  The first is saying live a good life and tell people about God if they ask.  The second is saying get your life right then preach about it so your words that you say would carry more weight.  St. Francis wasn’t letting us off the hook with verbal communication.  St. Francis was slapping us in the face saying your gospel preaching is weak because you don’t walk it out in your own life.  Now that’s something I can get behind.  Good job St. Francis

Sometimes God just calls you to share your testimony or just flat out share the gospel story.  You and God will have to deal with that as it comes up.  What I’m going to talk about today is other ways that you might not have thought about that are also sharing the gospel.  Subtle easier ways that all us introverts in the room might find easier.

Use words to share the gospel by inviting people to Church

Acts 2:44-47 – All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

The great thing about inviting people to church is the pressure is off me.  All I have to do is get through the invite process and then if they come they’ll be met at the door by loving people.  They’ll listen to a convicting message from the Bible and they’ll be a time at the end where we will ask if they need to give their lives to Jesus.  This happens because the love of Jesus is here.

The same things that draw you to FVC are the same things that drew me to FVC and will be the same things that draw the people you know to church.  I wasn’t here from day 1.  When I showed up for the first time the culture had already been established.  People loved and cared about me the moment I walked in.  They wanted relationship with me.  Rich and Sheryl Beck took me out to lunch after the first Sunday I was here.  They invited me to play drums on the worship team right then and there.  They made me feel like I could be a part of the church family.  I didn’t feel like I was outside looking in.  I listened to Pastor Matt’s messages and they lined up with the word of God.  They challenged me and made me think about where I was and spurred me forward to where I needed to be.  My life began to change because of it.  These are the greatest things about attending this church.  Any church.

These things are available to the people you know.  They just don’t know it yet.  All you have to do is lead them to the right path.  You don’t have to explain everything from Genesis to Revelation.  Just have them visit one Sunday and watch them get convicted.

We give an opportunity ALMOST EVERY SERVICE to receive Christ.  It’s not an accident.  We are banking on the fact that someone is here today that needs Jesus.

Use Words to share the gospel by praying for people

1 Timothy 2:1-6 – First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

How many times have you been sitting with your unsaved family or unsaved friends and they tell you about something going on in their lives.  This health issue or that marriage problem or that work issue or whatever.

And we’re (I’m) like yeah that’s pretty tough.  Sorry to hear that.

What a cop out.  What a missed opportunity.  I serve the creator of the universe that has the power to heal whatever situation they are going through and I didn’t say anything.

Take every opportunity of every hardship of every person you meet and pray with them.  Use it as an opportunity to spread the gospel.  It doesn’t have to be magnanimous, it doesn’t have to be long, and you don’t have to quote scripture.  You just have to DO IT.

A simple dear Lord I pray for so and so who’s going through such and such.  I know that you are all powerful God and I pray that you heal that situation and comfort everyone involved.  Amen

10 seconds done you just have to get the words out.  I find most non believers like short prayer anyway.

But the point is you have planted a seed.  You have walked them through the process of communication with God.  It might not produce fruit that moment but it could lead to deeper questions and a more honest look at God farther down the road.  You have made God real in their lives and that’s sharing the Gospel.

Share the Gospel with the World

Matthew 24:14 – “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”

Psalms 96:3 – “Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.”

There are close to 8 billion people in this world.  Roughly 2.2 Billion or 23% of those 8 billion people are Christian according to google (probably significantly less Bible believing Christians but whatever).  That leaves at LEAST 5.8 billion people (probably more) that still need Jesus.

What would be the easiest way to reach these people?  What would be the easiest way to “Declare God’s glory”?  What if I told you – you could do it right here – right now – while sitting here listening to my speak.

Hand raising how many people in this room use social media any kind?

How many people have a smart phone on you RIGHT NOW?  Hold it up.  Be proud.

Deacon Mark and I just got back from a missions trip to Pakistan and one of the most amazing things was how many people had smart phones and social media accounts.  Especially the young people.  Social media is worldwide even in Pakistan.

40% of the WORLDS population uses social media.  77% of the US population have some kind of social media account.  The church’s Facebook page has reached almost 10,000 people over the last month.  The church’s twitter account has reached almost 2 million people over the last month.  This isn’t even counting all the people effected by Pastor Matt and Cyrstal’s personal posts and all the other bloggers and verse posters and sermon quoters that happen during the week.  As a Church are constantly declaring God’s glory online and I want YOU to begin to help because these numbers can be SO MUCH BIGGER.

Social media is a tool.  It’s not evil and it’s not good.   It can be used for either.   You can absolutely become addicted to it or let the “drama” in it effect your life.  It can 100% drag you down.  Here is the thing though.  When I read my Bible we are supposed to the be the light of the world not the other way around.  We are supposed to infect other people not them infect us.  Everyone remember the this light of mine song?  Are you going to let a tool drag you down or are you going to use the tool to share the light of Jesus to the world and lift other people up?  That’s really the question.

Share the Sermon – Share the Gospel

Do you know the average cost of a Super Bowl Commercial is 5 million dollars.  Do you know the average cost of sharing the Crystal’s Super Bowl Sunday Sermon on social media is exactly $0.  That’s a 5 million dollar savings.  You laugh, but have you seen videos go viral.  Millions of people see them.  We have roughly 500 people that attend this church.  What would happen if we shared the live stream 500 times every Sunday?  I honestly don’t know, but I’d really like to find out.

We stream every service live online.  We stream it on Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter.  Now I personally feel (not counting tonight) we have some of the most amazing preachers that this world has to offer.  We have the type of preaching and teaching that connects with people even if people don’t believe in God.  We have the type of preaching that makes people want to know about God.  We don’t sugar coat it, we don’t water it down, we don’t make it up, we don’t make it sound like the world,  we preach straight from the Bible and it convicts people – and even in this crazy backwards place we’re living in people can still see the truth.  They are drawn to it even when they don’t know exactly what it is or why.  That’s the power of the gospel.

Here is the best part (especially for us introverts).  Sharing the gospel using social media IS SO EASY.  Using Facebook it requires 2 clicks.  You hit the share button once and then you hit the share now button.  It’s that easy.  This is least amount of physical work you will have to do to share the gospel YOU WILL EVER HAVE.

We struggle with it because we don’t know what our friends might think.  We struggle with it because we might have to answer questions.  We struggle with it because it puts us out there.  We struggle with it because it’s not in our nature.  We struggle with it because we’d rather not interact with the world.  We’d rather just lurk on social media so no one sees us.

I know because that’s me, but that’s not what God is calling us to do.

Remember I have this light.  I’m supposed to shine it.  It’s supposed to illuminate the darkness.  God has commanded me to shine it.  Just like your supposed to get baptized, just like your supposed to tithe, just like your supposed to serve in the church, YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO SHARE THE GOSPEL.   Using your social media can be a super easy way for you to start doing that.

Now you might be thinking that I’m just crazy.  That I’m just playing with 1s and 0s in a digital world and it doesn’t convert to people learning about Jesus.  The thing is I only have to go to this last Sunday to find an example for what I’m talking about

Sermon Slide (provided)

Bryan Strong shared just a picture of Pastor Jay preaching and one of his friends asked a question about listening to it.  I was able to post a link to the sermon for her so she could listen to it.  I don’t know anything about this person.  Never met her.  She might be a Christian and she might not be.  All I know is Bryan took a step to share a Jesus filled message where at the end Pastor Jay asks if anyone wants to give their life to the Lord and it paid off.

This happens over and over and over again.  I know this because I talk to the new visitors that come in.  I sit in the membership classes and listen to people as they say how they discovered Faith and Victory Church.  They talk about seeing our pictures and sermon quotes.  They tell me about how they watch the live stream for weeks before showing up in person.   Then when they are here in person they change their lives.  They engage this Jesus full on.  It’s amazing to watch.  All because someone took two seconds to share something.  All because someone had a little bit of social media courage.  Social media is a great tool.  Lets use it.

So hopefully as you’ve been listening to me preach, you are convicted to share the gospel.  If you are an extrovert then maybe I’ve give you a few tips to do even more.  If you are an introvert then maybe I’ve given you a way to get your feet wet.

I want to leave you with while sharing the gospel is what God commanded us to do and while the process can be made easier it’s still hard to do and you will probably get push back from the world.  And that push back might not always be nice.

1 Peter 3:15 –  But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,

You do not have all the answers.  You probably don’t know how all the animals fit on the ark.  You may not be able to fully describe how the trinity works.  You might not even be sure of the exact process by which Jesus is going to return to this earth.  That’s not the what I need you to know

Show Title Slide (graphic)

What you should know is how Jesus changed your life.  What you should know is what Jesus saved you from.  What you should know is that Jesus died on the cross for you.  What you should know is that other people need the same thing that you got.  Show them the way

Share the Gospel – Save the World

Invite people to receive Christ

Challenge people to share the gospel this week

Share The Gospel - Save The World

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