By Erin Bird,
For this week’s article, I am continuing the Four Shifts in Sharing Jesus series I started last week here in our weekly email. These four shifts* are four things I believe you (if you are a follower of Jesus) need to make internally if you are going to effectively fulfill Jesus’ command to invite people to follow Him. Last week we talked about shifting from an event-driven mentality to a person-focused approach. This week, I want to talk about shifting from combative evangelism to attractive sharing.
Because it is an incredibly important shift we need to make.
Sharing Good Things
Back in February, Riverwood’s own Sam Shaffer invited me and my son, Salem, to go see the movie Black Panther. The movie was SO good! I found myself wanting to joyfully talk about the movie with anyone who would engage with me on the topic. (Unfortunately, we must have been bad customers, because the Waverly Palace Theater shut down the next day. 😳)
But imagine, in my desire to talk about this film I thoroughly enjoyed, I approached people with an aggressiveness that looked down upon them for having not seen it yet, or for not seeing it the same way I saw it. They probably wouldn’t want to keep discussing the movie with me. My combative attitude would probably keep anyone from wanting to see the film, no matter how good it actually was.
When it comes to the idea of sharing Jesus, too often we think we have to be ready to answer every question someone might have, and to respond with authority and force. As we see the divisive dialogue taking place in our nation over politics and religion, we can wrongly envision that sharing Jesus has to look similar.
But nothing could be further from the truth.
Just as you have no problem…* sharing a great experience from a wonderful restaurant,
* or talking about the exciting conclusion of last night’s game,
* or inviting people to see a particular movie you enjoyed…
…sharing Jesus isn’t about winning an argument, but rather inviting people into something you find attractive.
And when I talk about sharing Jesus as “attractive,” I don’t mean you have to go get a haircut and put on new clothes before you can talk about what Jesus did on the cross. Rather, sharing Jesus is simply letting people know that you find Jesus and His Gospel attractive, and you’d love for your friends and family to “taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psalm 34:8)
So when it comes to sharing Jesus, don’t think you have to argue. Rather, simply see it as an invitation into something you see as wonderful. Because your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors might just end up thinking Jesus is wonderful, too.
*To give credit where credit is due, these four shifts come from Gary Rohmeyer, President of the MidWest district of Converge.