I wanna tell the world about Jesus but I can’t seem to get my foot out of my mouth!
Unlike Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, the Apostle Paul, and my pastor, I am not gifted with a silver tongue. Get me excited or nervous or mad and I immediately loose about 50 points off of my IQ score. Give me a group of unsaved people to talk to and I’m worthless. Well, to be honest, even if I’m not talking about salvation, public speaking has always been a harrowing experience for me. Get me one-on-one with a human and most likely I’ll get them talking about themselves so I can stand there, smile, and not my head while they pontificate on their childhood, career, spouse, kids, well, you get the idea. If they happen to be kind and ask me about me, my tongue turns to sticky caramel in my mouth and the teleprompter in my head seems to be malfunctioning.
I have even been a member of Toastmasters International for a time to try and cure myself of this affliction. I got pretty good at delivering prepared speeches and even a few off-the-cuff ones! But, then again it was a lot like being a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. We all knew why we were there so it was OK to let your guard down and stumble a few times. We were all in the same boat and we knew it. Out in the real world we were, for the most part just as muddy headed and thick tongued as before.
This year, I’ve come across quite a few calls from Christian authors such as Steven Furtick, David Platt, and others to be a witness for Christ this holiday season and to become an evangelist in your own world the whole year through. Hmmm…don’t you hate it when someone points out what you are supposed to be doing but aren’t and you know they’re right?
This got me thinking. If I am supposed to be Jesus to the world, I guess I should get off my butt and start going about His work, but, how? Time for a brainstorming session! Here’s a list of things I think I CAN do to preach the gospel without making it sound like a bowl of mush.
- You know those little tracts that most churches have in their lobby? They’re usually small, about a quarter of a page in width and length and about ten pages in all. Grab some next Sunday. Keep them in your car, school locker, desk drawer, wherever. If you are like me, and you come across someone who’s really down on their luck, standing on a street corner or the entrance to the mall with a card board sign, instead of giving them just the few dollars in your wallet, give them one of those tracts as you hand them the cash. It’s possible they may just keep the cash and donate the tract to the nearest trashcan but you never know, do you!
- Buy a T-shirt! I know what you’re thinking, “What did she just say” but, seriously. I’m not a big fan of commercializing my faith but, I have been known to sport a t-shirt emblazoned with a bible verse or pithy Christian sentiment from time to time and it has, once or twice started the conversation for me. Most Christian bookstores have them or, get one from a Christian non-profit organization that you are particularly fond of. Then be prepared to have a conversation. I know, it’s tough but now that your interesting apparel has opened the door, try walking though it. I’m pretty sure the Holy Spirit will show up to give you a hand.
- Do you know someone who is down on his or her luck and could use a good meal? Make a casserole or some other easy comfort food and put it in a basket or even a box. Along with the goodies, add a Christian tract or even better, a Bible. When you go back to retrieve your lovely basket, there may be more than grateful friends waiting for you, there may be questions, and now that you’ve got a bible handy (unless they threw it out with the leftovers) you can have a ready resource to answer some of their questions. Now that the door is open, offer to bring them to a church event or even a Sunday service.
- Send Christmas cards. I’m not talking about the kind with Santa on the front or some lovely rural winter theme that says “Happy Holidays” go all out and buy those radical Christian holiday cards! Or, add a bible verse to your greeting. I’m particularly fond of Isaiah 9:6.
- Last of all, be Jesus! Do you find yourself being as negative and defeated in you’re daily life as all the people around you? Well, stop it! Spend one day being positive, don’t listen to the gossip, don’t complain about your boss or your co-workers or teachers or the government. Say only positive things. I know, it’s not easy these days but stop before you speak and think; hmmm… what could I say here that is uplifting? Be the shoulder to cry on without commiserating with the crier. Help an old lady to her car, buy coffee for the guy in line behind you in Starbucks, mow your neighbor’s yard as well as your own. Do you live in an apartment? Sweep your neighbors doorway as well as yours. Think! Look for opportunities to be Jesus to the people around you. One last thing, be Jesus to your family as well. Don’t take them for granted while you’re out there being a witness to the world.
Okay, I’ve come up with a few ways to open the evangelical door, now it’s your turn. If you think of any cool thing to add to this list, let me know. This isn’t gonna stop on December 26th. Lets keep this going all year long. It will be interesting to hear from everyone what your results were! Now, its time for me to go practice what I just preached.