In view of our verse of the year, “therefore go and make disciples of all nations,” (Matthew 28:19), I was reminded of something I heard a few years ago.
How would you score yourself for your boldness in speaking to people about Christ, for telling them about God and the gospel?
Suppose a score of 10 means that you are always telling people about God’s salvation plan: You never miss an opportunity and you have led many people to bow the knee to king Jesus. But 0 means that you never utter one syllable about your God. No-one knows you’re a Christian and no-one has heard your testimony.
I am afraid I would not get a 10. I’m not sure if I’d get over a 5. How about you?
It’s easy to despair when we reflect on our failures to evangelise, but we need to remember that the Christian life is about growth and development. It’s about pressing on, realising we have not yet obtained the goal of all we would want to be for Christ. And of course, we know that it’s not about totting up scores for ‘heaven points’, or to earn God’s favour in any way. But it might be a helpful way of thinking about how we can stretch ourselves in evangelism.
So a helpful thought might be to say that whatever my score is currently, what would it take to get me to the next level? What would it take for me to go from a 3 to a 4, or from a 6 to an 8? What preparation can I make? What target can I set for myself? How can I be praying and calling on others to pray for me?
I want to be bold like Joseph before Pharaoh, like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to Nebuchadnezzar and like Paul before kings and high priests, but maybe I need to start in primary school taking bold baby steps and praying God would help me learn to walk. Think about what this might mean for you, and how you can encourage others in it also.