Sharing the Gospel With Your Neighbors
This week, I was excited to meet with John McBride, the associational mission strategist for the Polk-Haralson Baptist Association. This podcast is full of valuable insight in regards to sharing the Gospel with those in your neighborhood. This is, by no means, an exhaustive conversation about evangelism, but the focus for this week is on meeting the needs of our community and sharing the Gospel with people right down the road.
God has called us to share the Gospel to the uttermost part of the world. In short, we are called to proclaim the name of Jesus from the neighborhoods to the nations. Unfortunately, the need for people to hear the Gospel here at home is overwhelming in this day and age.
There are great opportunities to travel and share the Gospel. However, many
of us have cancelled travels plans because of complications with COVID. Truthfully, it’s gotten me to think more about reaching the people right down the street and how we can work to do that as a family.
Just this past Sunday we had a family join our church that we met through our children playing together at the open house for their school. They have become very dear friends of ours. We started a conversation because our kids were playing together. I‘ll be baptizing their father in a few weeks. We have an incredible opportunity to reach the people that are all around us.
I want to encourage you to listen to the podcast at the top of this page about how to reach your neighbors, but I want to address something different in this blog. I’d like to address three road bumps we have with reaching our neighbors for Christ.
1. We may not know our neighbors
When I was a kid we knew every family on the block. We did things together. I played with every kid in our neighborhood. We were raised together. People knocked on our doors and we knocked on our neighbors‘ doors. Quite often, I might add! Today, there is the temptation to come home and find isolation from those who live right next to you. Most of our socializing happens with people from work or friends. Most of the socializing for our kids probably comes from their ball team or their cheerleading squad. Who knows who those people are at the corner house next to us? I would like to assert that these are the people we need to be reaching, and blesseveryhome.com tells you who those people are and how you can pray for them.
2. It will seem odd to just knock on their door to share Jesus
Again, when I was a child we usually expected company. Today, people knock and the family gets really quiet and hides! Regardless, something is better than nothing. There can be fruit from knocking on doors of people you don’t know. I think what would help in this circumstance, however, is if you get to know them. That’s what is great about Bless Every Home. They give you a way to pray - care - share - disciple your neighbors. You simply click their name and indicate where you are in that process. So, before you share Jesus with them, you actively pray for them and try to meet a need they may have. You get to know them and love on them. Hopefully, that can lead to a more natural conversation about the Gospel.
3. I don’t know what to say
Truth be told, we often don’t know where to start. Many of us can share the Gospel; we just don’t know how to get the conversation started. There are divine appointments where the Lord clearly opens the door in the conversation, but what if there doesn’t seem to be an obvious opportunity in the conversation. I think we need to keep something in perspective - if we eat at a great restaurant we WANT to tell others about it. There is a new taco stand in town, and I have to admit I have referred many people to their place of business. (Side note: Try the street corn at Rudy’s if you are in Cedartown, GA. It’s just so good!)
My heart was convicted recently as I thought how that compared to my excitement in telling others about Jesus. Here we have the hope of the world - eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord, and I’ve told more people about tacos than I have Jesus recently. I think we need to treat the Gospel in high esteem. Start with asking them if they go to church anywhere. Lots of times around where we live you get - “When I go I attend ...” As a follow up you could tell them where you go to church and tell them what the Bible says concerning salvation. You’ve been saved by Jesus! What better news is there to share? You could phrase it in this way - “Do you mind if I share with you about my church and what we believe about the Gospel?” From there, you could utilize multiple approaches - the Roman Road, Three Circles, FAITH evangelism, ABCs of salvation. Just Google any one of those phrases, and you will find how simple they are to use. Most importantly, just start somewhere! We can all share our faith more, but God is glorified when we step out in obedience wherever we are. The Holy Spirit goes with you and before. Trust in Him and share!