SCRIPTURE: Matthew 24:14 (TM)
All during this time, the good news - the Message of the kingdom - will be preached all over the world, a witness staked out in every country. And then the end will come.
The evangelist, Leighton Ford, tells the following story: “I was speaking at an open-air crusade in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Billy Graham was to speak the next night and had arrived a day early. He came incognito and sat on the grass at the rear of the crowd. Because he was wearing a hat and dark glasses, no one recognized him.
Directly in front of him sat an elderly gentleman who seemed to be listening intently to my presentation. When I invited people to come forward as an open sign of commitment, Billy decided to do a little personal evangelism. He tapped the man on the shoulder and asked, ‘Would you like to accept Christ? I'll be glad to walk down with you if you want to.’ The old man looked him up and down, thought it over for a moment, and then said, ‘Naw, I think I'll just wait till the big gun comes tomorrow night.’
Billy and I have had several good chuckles over that incident. Unfortunately, it underlines how, in the minds of many people, evangelism is the task of the ‘Big Guns,’ not the ‘little shots.’"
Let’s be honest, we have some weird thinking when it comes to the area of evangelism. Specifically, in the area of witnessing is where our struggle takes place. We are reluctant for a number of reasons.
Witnessing is only to bear witness to the truth that is in us based on the experience we have had – nothing more, nothing less. Bearing testimony to what has already accord in our life. Sharing the story of our relationship with Christ.
We share experiences all the time. Sometimes with total strangers. The experience of a great meal, a moving concert, someone famous that has crossed our path, a great deal that we found at so-and-so department store … but about our relationship with Christ? Not so much. We are hesitant, holding back out of fear of rejection or just thinking that that is the responsibility of the “big guns”.
If we are hesitant to speak to the truth that is within us … is it there in the first place? Experience tells us that if the truth does reside in us that we suffer from a strong case of “can’t help its” … we just cannot keep it in. Like an artesian well it just comes flowing out. The joy of the experience of our heart is more than we can keep contained.
I must admit that there are individuals who are more effective, articulate, at the sharing than others, but the simple truth for all of us can be found in the words of one changed man, “Before Christ – a mess … after Christ – a message.” That is the Good News, that is a Kingdom message and if it has been our experience it will flow out of us like an artesian well until everybody gets wet.
Help us to have holy boldness so that we might speak to the experience within us.