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I’m done sharing the Gospel

I’m done sharing the Gospel
 

I’m done sharing the Gospel

I sometimes get asked to speak at different places for different reasons. Usually it is a church or retreat, or some other venue in the Christian world that needs a teacher/speaker/preacher/orator/evangelist/prophet. I usually can’t do it simply because of time constraints. But sometimes I can’t do it because I feel like I would sacrifice my integrity. These are the invitations to speak that start, “Would you come and ‘share the gospel’ with our group?” So let me share some of the reasons why I would almost never say yes to an invitation like that.

 1. Usually what someone means when they ask you to come and ‘share the gospel’ is… “Would you come and let the people who show up know how bad they are and convince them that Jesus will fix it all.”

No thanks.

2. Usually what they mean when they ask you to come and ‘share the gospel’ is… “Would you get people to say a prayer, walk an aisle, or whatever cute trick you use to demonstrate God is really moving?”

No I won’t, because last time I checked, God cannot be bought with magical incantations, disguised as prayers.

3. Usually what they mean when they ask you to come and ‘share the gospel’ is… “Would you boil down what it means to reorient your life around the resurrected Jesus in a few simple steps that everyone can have the chance to respond to at just the right moment (typically right before a cool Crowder tune).”

No I will not, because following after the God of the universe is mysterious as much as it is concrete. The messy journey with and towards Jesus isn’t a sales pitch with 4 easy steps.

4. Usually what they mean when they ask you to come and ‘share the gospel’ is… “Would you be the hired gun to come to really make a clear ‘presentation of the gospel’ as part of our ‘super cool outreach’ event that will also feature the latest and greatest bands.”

Nope, I won’t, because I can’t, with integrity, support a philosophy of ministry that embraces bait and switch tactics. I simply won’t support an event that promotes itself as something ‘that you should bring all your spiritually lost friends to’ because we want to ‘get them saved’. That is manipulative at best and perhaps a bit dehumanizing to the projects we call our friends.

5. Usually what they mean when they ask you to come and ‘share the gospel’ is… “Would you tell heart wrenching stories that would get the people crying, hugging, praying together, repenting and singing (cool Hillsong tunes) so that we can convince ourselves that God really moved.”

I won’t do it, because I remember my dad once said that love for someone isn’t demonstrated in a momentary wave of passion you might feel. Rather, love is demonstrated by a thousand little daily choices to live for the other even when you don’t feel like it. Because someone cries and hugs at the end of a sermon in no way means they love Jesus and have suddenly made life altering, world-view shaping decisions about living in the new reality of Jesus.

6. Usually what someone means when they ask you to come and ‘share the gospel’ is… “Would you come in, get them to Jesus, take your pay check and then have a good life since we’ll never see you again.”

No I certainly will not, because the ones who have the most credibility to enter into any sort of spiritual conversation with someone who might be far from God, isn’t the speaker boy or girl they bring in, it is the friend who lives life with them everyday. It is their neighbor.

I’m done distorting the Gospel.

I am done perpetuating a bad theology that implicitly communicates normal everyday people don’t have what it takes to have redemptive conversations with their friends, that they for some reason need a professional to do it for them.

In fact, I had a lady call me about a year ago. She asked me to go in and visit her sick father. She was afraid he was going to die soon. I asked what she was looking for from me and she said she wanted me to go in to the hospital and share Christ with him.

I was totally confused. What does this even mean?

I said no. I wouldn’t do it.

I assured her that I had no more powerful words than her. And in fact, her words and actions would have far more meaning to him than some dude he has never even met.

And I told her that I wouldn’t do it because she had the same spirit of God living in her as I do in me.

She didn’t need a professional.

So now that I have effectively eliminated most of my potential speaking engagements in the future, I must say, it felt good to get that off my chest.

Jason Mitchell
Campus Pastor at LCBC Church
Jason is a Campus Pastor at LCBC Church (Lives Changed By Christ). He loves taking runs, drinking coffee, listening to all things rock and roll, and spending time with his wife Jenny and their two kids, Sienna and Silas.