I like to frame sharing the Gospel / missionary work in terms of fishing and hunting.
Think about the last person you shared the Gospel with
or invited to a church activity. Why did you talk with that
particular person? When I am leading a lesson discussion, I try to get three or four answers (which almost
always center on a shared interest or friendship or determination of
readiness), and then I explain the difference between fishing in Jesus'
time and hunting in our time.
Jesus didn't bait a hook and cast
a line into the water in the exact spot where he thought the fish were
most likely to be hiding. Jesus threw out his net and gathered in
whatever fish swam into it. He preached to the masses and let people
follow him if they chose to do so. On the other hand, we tend to grab
our rifles and try to find the perfect target for our message - saving
our bullets for the right one and even praying that the right one will
walk into our scope sights.
I'm not talking
about approaching everyone we see, like a full-time missionary, but
rather talking with everyone we meet about whatever normal, everyday
thing pops into our minds and seeing where the conversation leads. I'm talking about casting our lives upon the waters and seeing who swims up to us and wants to talk about our lives.
brother was raised in central, rural Utah. The hunting approach was
the only possible approach, since each ward had about 500 members and
maybe 5-10 non-members living within its boundaries. Thus, every
non-member had been shot at multiple times and was adapt at ducking the
bullets and/or finding good cover. When he moved to Oklahoma, he told
me he was amazed at how naturally and openly everyone talked about
church and religion and God. It was done in the course of normal
conversation - no conversion motive and not awkwardly, just as part of
Likewise, my mother couldn't carry on a
conversation for more than about 10 minutes without having the
discussion include some aspect of the Gospel, since it simply was part
of how she viewed life. She never preached to people or overtly even
talked about the Church; rather, she simply talked with them - and
Gospel principles leaked into the conversation.
To me, that is the heart of pure Gospel sharing - when it just comes up naturally because of who you are as you talk about life.
3 hours ago