If you are following our 12-month challenge to teach your children to live more like Jesus, this month we are focusing on teaching our children to tell others about God. The early Church grew quickly and spread throughout the known world in a very short time. One would think with the internet, airplanes and SKYPE, conversions today would be happening at breakneck speed. Yet now, many of our churches are shrinking instead of growing.
The reasons the church supposedly isn’t growing fascinate me. “Our message sounds outdated.” “We ask people to give up too much.” “It is too hard for people to understand.” “We can’t compete.” If we could only make the Gospel more fun, more exciting, easier. Then we could convert people as quickly as they did in the first century.
There is only one little problem with these theories – the Roman persecution. How’s this for a fun, easy conversion message? Remember Jesus? Turns out he really was the son of God. Follow him, confess your sins and be baptized. You will have eternal life. By the way, that may start very soon. Once you become a Christian, you may lose everything you own, be thrown in jail and tortured in an attempt to make you renounce Jesus. If you survive that, you’ll most likely be torn apart by lions! Exciting yes, but is there anyone alive today who would be brave enough to even try and convert anyone with that as your reality?
Instead, we only have to convince people to repent and be baptized for an opportunity to spend eternity with God in Heaven. They can attend air conditioned churches and serve out of what for most in this country is an abundance of money, stuff and time. Best of all, we most likely can avoid being eaten by lions. Yet, we have every excuse in the world why sharing our faith is too hard! Perhaps, what is even worse is that we are often avoiding training our children to share their faith too. If things continue the way they are now, we may be seeing the end of Christianity or at least the crippling of it.
It’s not too late! We can have the same courage and enthusiasm about sharing the Gospel as the early Christians. We can teach our children how to share their faith with everyone they meet. Will you and your children take a risk by sharing your faith? You may get teased or not invited to wild parties, but at least for the moment, no one is waiting to arrest you and feed you to wild animals. Is the possibility of rejection really so terrifying that we would deny people an opportunity to spend eternity in heaven?
I dare you to take a risk. Share your faith with someone this week. Invite someone to Church. Tell someone how God has worked in your life. Encourage your children to do the same. Don’t have a clue what to share? In my next post, I’ll give you some ideas to get you and your children started.