What do you consider to be “presenting the Gospel?” I think that many of us take it for granted that we are all talking about the same thing when it comes to “presenting the Gospel” to people, especially children. There are different approaches to it, though. As I interact with and speak with more and more children’s ministers, I find that there are different definitions as to what “presenting the Gospel” means.
I think that we’ve accepted the cultural definition that in order to present the Gospel to someone you have to walk them through the fundamentals of faith or the Romans road and taken that to be the ONLY biblical way of presenting the Gospel.
What would happen if we stopped seeing the unchurched as people who need to be fixed and simply see them as someone on a journey that needs our love and acceptance. Now, I am not saying that we affirm the sin in their lives. I believe that it is possible to be accepting of people without affirming or condoning their sins. Hey, we all deal with sin in our own lives.
How much more effective would we be to build relationships with people and allow our lives to present the Gospel. I think we preempt the Holy Spirit by rushing to verbally lay out the gospel before people without them opening the door first. We plant seeds by our love. Water them by our love. The Holy Spirit is the one who grows that seed into a desire to know more about who Jesus is and what it means to follow Jesus.
I can’t help but think that reaching out to a community in service through things like an active food bank, teen mothers’ groups, etc. (or even offering to rake your neighbors lawn, shovel someone’s driveway of snow, wash your neighbor’s car) do more to spread the Gospel than going through an Evangelism Explosion class and asking people questions like, “If you were to die, do you know what would happen to you?”
Again, I am not saying that we shouldn’t ask someone to cross the line of faith and make Jesus Lord of their life. What I am saying is that we should stop trying to artificially create those opportunities and allow the Holy Spirit to open up those avenues through our daily interactions with people. After all, it is possible to surrender your life to God at places other than events, altars and Sunday school.