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December 7, 2015

More Thoughts on Sharing the Gospel — when you feel like a loser

by Dave Malnes

Our good intentions to share God’s Word can seem like a series of lop-sided defeats instead of inspiring victories — especially when fear stops us from saying anything at all.

How do I overcome feeling like a loser when it comes to evangelism?

A new head football coach for a losing college football program recently gave three perspectives on how to build a winning program. I believe these three perspectives could help Christians overcome mountains that get in the way of sharing the message of Christ.

I recently read an article about the 2015 Kansas football team on the ESPN website. http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/14106043/48-hours-scenes-kansas-jayhawks-uphill-rebuilding-efforts  They lost every game this season. Again. The article featured a first-year head football coach and how he was handling a year full of humiliating, lop-sided defeats. His response caught my attention. The coach told the reporter that he was focusing on three aspects on how to move the mountains of defeat and build a competitive, victorious football team. These three aspects included:

#1        Strive to be a little bit better every day.

#2        Never give up – no matter what.

#3        Have fun.

I believe these three thoughts can help us learn how to build a winning team of victorious Christians who confidently and joyfully share the gospel with others… instead of feeling like a loser. 

In a previous post, I addressed the first thought on how to get a little bit better every day.

Today, let’s focus on the final two thoughts.

#2  Never give up – no matter what.

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  (1 Thess. 5:16-18)

With ten minutes left in the game and down 55-10, the new Kansas football coach could tell his frustrated players were ready to quit. He seized the moment to teach a valuable lesson… never give up. It was highly unlikely they were going to win this game, but it was far more important to win another battle with themselves.

What can we learn?

Sometimes in life, it is good for Christians to call a time out. This allows us to regroup and go back to God’s Word and remind us of God’s many promises. The hope we have in Christ inspires us to never give up and to remain in Him.

A picture the Bible provides is the importance on never giving up on a soul. There is the lost family member or dear neighbor who have rejected dozens of invitations to come to church or shown no interest in organized religion. Perhaps they have even given unkind retorts to gospel advances. Never give up praying for them!

In cross-cultural ministry, it often takes years of building bridges and planting the seeds of the gospel before a miracle of faith occurs. Despite heartache and disappointment, never give up.

Whenever Christians feel the gentle urge by the Holy Spirit to step out in faith to share what Christ has done – keep in mind that we may never know the condition of their soil. That person could be the son, daughter, or a grandchild of a dear Christian who has been praying over that soul for many years. God has set apart you to be an answer to their prayers.

  1. Have Fun!

Jesus said, “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep. I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”  (Luke 15:7)

Football is meant to be fun. It’s tough to feel like a winner when you are getting clobbered on the scoreboard. It’s not fun losing all the time.

Witnessing can make you feel like a loser. We can be our own worse Monday morning quarterback. Remorse comes when we kick ourselves for not saying one thing or feel guilty for saying another. When Christians sow the seeds of God’s Word, we have to trust the seed and not the sower.

Guilt also comes in the form of knowing that we are not sharing the gospel. That reality can also make us feel like a loser.

Let’s be honest. There is nothing worse than attempting to do something that is prompted by guilt or does not appear to be fun. Worse, we hate to place ourselves into a situation where we will feel like a loser.

This is not the picture Christ presents to us.

Sharing the gospel is not about having fun, but receiving joy. There is joy in worshiping with ninety-nine Christians who are righteous in Christ – but there is even greater joy that awaits to be a part of a victory celebration when a lost soul comes to faith!

God involves Christians in the process of winning lost souls. There is joy, a sense of adventure, and sometimes even fun in being a part of that process. This requires serving others instead of ourselves. This means remaining in Christ so we can bear fruits of the Spirit. It also means stepping out of our comfort zones to invite people to taste and see that the Lord is good.

I believe that the University of Kansas football is going to build a winning program. The wins may not necessarily accumulate on the scoreboard, but the success will come in building up winners on and off the field.

Jesus Christ has already made the sacrifice so we can receive victory right now. Our guilt is removed. We are righteous in God’s eyes. We can be confident that God always notices our work produced by faith, our labor prompted by love, our endurance inspired by hope. We are winners in Christ.

When Christians are fully absorbed by the truths of the gospel, we can’t help but to transmit that truth to others.

Read Part One: Thoughts on Sharing the Gospel… when you feel like a loser.

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What do you think? Has this post helped you conquer the mountain of evangelism?

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