Mission Insights 1

Missions Insights 1:  The Gospel Is Simpler Than We Make It.

I’ve just returned from a week long missions trip to Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas Mexico.  While in Tuxtla, we did door to door evangelism and discipleship, as well as evening evangelistic services, all in preparation for a church plant in the area.  I brought two of the young people from our church, and we teamed up with four others from Southpoint Church in Grove City, Ohio.  We were partnered with high school students from an English speaking Christian school in Mexico, and they acted as our translators.  We were also partnered with a local resident to do door to door evangelism.  To say that God proved Himself again and again on this trip would be an understatement.  We saw over 100 people come to know Christ, and in their inaugural service, Missio Sion had 28 adults and 46 children in attendance.  God was, and continues to be, incredibly faithful and good.  During my time in Mexico, I was happy to discover that God was teaching and confirming in me, a number of truths that I hope will be helpful to you, and to our church as a whole.  This marks the first of several posts on this particular subject.  I hope they are beneficial to you.  Without further ado, let’s begin.

1.  The Gospel Is Simpler Than We Make It.
I am a committed preacher and theologian.  I believe one responsibility the church bears is to preach and teach good doctrine from the pulpit, and in small groups.  But sometimes, we in the American church have a tendency to complicate the Gospel more than necessary.  The beauty of the Gospel is that a child can understand it at age 4, and then spend the rest of his or her life studying that same Gospel, never exhausting its riches.  And I don’t know if it’s our American education, or our desire to be thought of as wiser than we are, but sometimes we so complicate the Gospel that we fail to actually preach and share it.  The “Romans Road”, or “Four Spiritual Laws” aren’t the only ways to share the Gospel, they may not even be the best way in our particular culture, but they’re a good place to start.  Is lifestyle evangelism necessary?  Of course.  Do we need to earn the right to share the Gospel with many people in our culture?  Yes.  But can we at least be honest enough with ourselves to admit that those objections are often little more than excuses as to why we don’t share the Gospel, when we know we should?  If we would share the Gospel in the simplest of terms, it would, at the very least, be a starting point for a conversation, and perhaps many conversations, that may one day lead to a person coming to know Christ.  But it all begins with a simple Gospel presentation.
Perhaps your excuse for not sharing the Gospel is that you don’t know all the answers.  Guess what.  Neither do I.  Neither do any of us.  The idea that any of us would have all the answers is ridiculous.  We serve and worship the God of the Universe.  What are the chances that we know and understand all He does?  And who wants to learn from a “know-it-all” Christian anyway?  You should see the surprised, refreshed look on some people’s faces when you tell them, “I don’t know.  But I still believe.”  It makes them realize that they don’t have to have it all figured out in order to accept Christ.  They simply need the faith that God provides.
So I want to challenge you all today.  Do you have a plan to share the Gospel?  A quick internet search of “The Romans Road,” or  “Four Spiritual Laws,” will bring up countless resources to help you prepare.  Those aren’t the only means of evangelism.  They may not even be the best.  But they’re a start.  They’ll provide you with an outline at the very least.  Do you have a plan for sharing the Gospel today?  

Secondly, could you share the Gospel in two minutes?  If not, you’ve overcomplicated it.  People don’t have to understand every aspect of Scripture in order to be saved.  You probably didn’t when you got saved.  Our children don’t when they get saved.  Converts in the Bible didn’t understand everything when they got saved.  But can you share the essential truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a few short minutes?  Work at this.  Prepare yourself.  This is the very command of Christ.  Will you obey?  The Gospel is simpler than we make it.