Did you know that God has a dream, and he invites us to help him fulfil it? God’s dream is to reconcile the world to himself and he has given us the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18-20). The invitation to help God fulfil his dream is the greatest invitation and privilege each of us will ever receive.
Dreams are important, they show us what the future can look like. Dreams are deep passions and desires that long to be fulfilled. Fulfilled dreams fuel our sense of worth, significance, and reason for living. King Solomon put it like this: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12).
In the Bible, we see God invite Peter to share the gospel with the gentiles (Acts 10:9-19), invite Philip to speak to an Ethiopian (Acts 8:26), invite Ananias to visit and pray for Saul (Acts 9:10-16) and invite Paul to preach the gospel in Macedonia (Acts 16:9-10). God’s dream unfolds as we take part, giving us a deeper understanding of our faith (Philemon 6).
Yet there is an elephant in the church when we consider the Great Commission, which is another way of describing our part in fulfilling God’s dream. The issue that everyone knows about but rarely mentions or discusses is that many Christians do not like doing evangelism. Moreover, they often struggle with motivation, are fearful of it, think they cannot be good at it, or simply shy away from it.
If taking part in God’s dream is our greatest privilege, why is it that so many Christians struggle with evangelism? Jesus sent out his disciples to do evangelism. He first sends out the twelve disciples (Luke 9:1-6) and later sends out seventy-two disciples (Luke 10:1-20). When the seventy-two returned, they and Jesus were full of joy, they enjoyed evangelism.
So why is that not the case today? Why do so many Christians not associate enjoyment with evangelism? If we want to complete the Great Commission and see God’s dream fulfilled, we will need to deal with this elephant in the church. We will need to find God-given answers to the struggles Christians have with evangelism.
In our book, God’s Dream, Our Greatest Privilege we introduce a new paradigm for evangelism, one where Christians can freely enjoy an evangelistic lifestyle. Seeing Jesus as the evangelist and how he introduced his kingdom to unbelievers led us to rethink evangelism. Seeing Jesus as our supreme example of how to do evangelism, meant we can learn to do evangelism as he did.
Jesus invited people to experience his kingdom. When they did, people often gave up all they had to obtain it (Matthew 13:44). In the New Testament (NIV), the term ‘gospel’ and ‘good news’ are used 122 times and the terms ‘Kingdom’, ‘Kingdom of God’ and ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ 124 times. Putting these terms together, they refer to Jesus’ gospel – the good news of the kingdom.
Jesus taught his disciples how to share his kingdom, as they travelled and healed people everywhere (Luke 9:6). Evangelism was an everyday activity for every Christian, it was not just reserved for special or seasonal events. He helped his disciples overcome their hindrances to evangelism, he didn’t leave them to struggle (Matthew 17:20).
Do you struggle with evangelism?
There are God-given answers to any struggles you may have with evangelism. Why not ask God now how you can overcome any hindrances you have and listen to what he says?
If you want to develop a supernatural evangelistic lifestyle, there are free resources to help you on your journey.
Thank you to Charles Long for permission to use his image.