Do you ever feel awkward or intimidated, when it comes to sharing your faith with others? The Lord knows, I do.
Life on Mission: Joining the Everyday Mission of God, by Dustin Willis and Aaron Coe, is a companion book to a five-week DVD teaching series, used in churches like mine. Life on Mission is geared towards giving Christians a biblical foundation for doing evangelism, and practical helps on how to share your faith with your neighbor, coworker, family member or friend.
Many of us Christians think that the work of evangelism is to be done by professionals, like pastors, or even outdoor evangelists, standing on a soapbox. Others of us know we should be doing evangelism ourselves, but we do not know why we should be doing it. Many of us feel like we lack the training to share our faith: What should I say? How do I broach the topic of spiritual things? When should I just shut-up and listen?
Life on Mission addresses these and other stumbling blocks to sharing our faith with others. Dealing with these stumbling blocks could not have come at a more critical time. Our culture is changing rapidly, and the influence of evangelical Christianity in American is not what it once was. We simply can not depend on the “professionals,” whoever they are, or Christian media, to get the job done, when it comes to spreading the Gospel. We must all get involved.
One of the central messages learned from Life on Mission is that everyone is a missionary, whether you are a plumber, a school teacher, a doctor, a student, a retired person, or a stay-at-home mom or dad. But we are not to go about doing evangelism alone. We need one another as fellow Christians as partners in the work, inviting people to join together, as we worship God and care for one another. In other words, we need biblical community.
Furthermore, sharing the Gospel needs to come from the right motivation. Ultimately, evangelism flows out of a life that is focused on giving God the glory in all things, to honor God as truly worthy to be worshipped.
Life on Mission is realistic. Here is one of my favorite quotes, illustrating the fact that the Christian church is far from perfection: “I am sure 9 out of 10 people… have been hurt by someone in the church, and the 10th person is simply in denial.” There are pitfalls to be avoided, and Life on Mission honestly looks at how to address these pitfalls.
The work of sharing our faith with our neighbors need not be boxed into some particular formula or “discipleship program.” Mainly, it is about building friendships, within our circle of influence, and inviting those friends to share in our spiritual journey. As we are learning things in the Bible, we can share those things with our neighbor and co-worker. As we share what we are learning from the Bible, we then allow God’s Holy Spirit to do the work, for the Word of God to penetrate the hearts and minds of our friends.
Life on Mission can be read on its own, or it could be used as part of a five-week DVD group study, using a Life on Mission Bible study guide. You do not necessarily need the Life on Mission book itself, as the DVD presentation, along with the five-week study guide, covers the same material. Consider Life on Mission, the book and/or the DVD sessions, with the Bible study guide, as a great tool to help you, and/or your small group think about how you can pursue God’s mission to share your life with Jesus with those around you.
For more information about Life on Mission, poke around on their website. Look here for information about Life on Mission classes at the Williamsburg Community Chapel.