Originally published September 12, 2014
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
This passage in Matthew is called The Great Commission. It is Christ’s mandate to all Christians to preach the gospel, clearly and verbally, as often as we can, everywhere. Some of the most important ways we can do this are sharing the gospel with our friends and loved ones, praying for our missionaries, and giving missions offerings at church. But while you’re doing these things, did you know that there are a lot of other little ways you can get involved in missions and evangelism? Here are some I’ve tried and loved:
The Main At-tract-ion– Living Waters has some awesome, attention grabbing tracts that make it easy and fun to start a gospel conversation. I like to use “Celebrity Millions.” As a Christian author, I sometimes have the opportunity to do book signings at secular venues. I lay a bunch of those “Celebrity Millions” out on the table, and it draws people like flies. (Sometimes, people are more interested in the tracts than my book, which is ok with me–they’re getting the gospel!) It’s fun to try to guess who some of the less identifiable celebrities are, and if you can’t get a foot in the door with a verbal gospel presentation, all you have to do is say, “There’s a great message on the back. Be sure to read it!”
Missions on the Amazon– Are you familiar with Amazon Smile? It allows you to designate a portion of your Amazon.com purchase for donation to the charity of your choice. I like to donate to the “International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention” (copy and paste that into the Smile search bar if you’d like to donate to the IMB).
Left Behind– If you’re new to sharing the gospel with strangers, an easy way to do it is to leave a tract or a New Testament (preferably one with a page that explains the plan of salvation, or tuck a tract inside) behind when you go somewhere. Some good places to leave one: waiting areas of doctors’ offices, hospitals, airports, the DMV, and salons, in restrooms, on a park bench (in a plastic bag in case of rain), or at a restaurant (with a GENEROUS tip). Use wisdom with regard to any rules the business may have about litter or soliciting, especially if your (or another) church’s contact information is printed on the tract or Bible. When I leave a Bible, I like to write a note on the inside (“I’m not lost, I was left as a gift for you. Please take me home and read me.”) so the person who finds it knows she’s free to keep it. You can purchase Bibles inexpensively at the dollar store, or ask your pastor about ordering them in bulk.
Be a Twit– Tweet gospel centered Bible verses, and, if appropriate and safe, let people know they can contact you (maybe via a designated, anonymous e-mail account?) if they want to know more about the gospel.
Throw Me Somethin’, Mister!– Down here in Louisiana, we have tons of parades, and in good Mardi Gras tradition, we throw things to the spectators. Instead of worthless plastic beads and trinkets, how about throwing New Testaments, or little bags of candy with tracts inside? If parades aren’t the thing in your neck of the woods, you can also give tracts and Bibles away from your booth at the fair, festival, or flea market, at your garage sale, at your kids’ lemonade stand, etc. And if your church does fundraisers like bake sales, car washes, or other events that are open to the public, be sure there are church members available to share the gospel and pray with people who are open to it.
Memorial Bibles– Gideons International has a wonderful program that allows you to donate Bibles in memory of a lost loved one. If you think it would be meaningful to the family of the deceased, consider donating Bibles instead of sending flowers. “…flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)
Be a Designated Donor– If you own your own business, have garage sales, sell craft items, etc., commit to setting aside a percentage of each sale for missions. The more specific the focus, the better. For example, adopt a particular unreached people group or give to an organization that focuses on getting the gospel to a certain focus group (such as victims of human trafficking or ESL students). Learn about the people the money will help and briefly tell your customers about them with each transaction. This may also open a door for sharing the gospel with your customers!
Group Project– Looking for a great evangelism activity for your youth group or small group? Join up with The Biggest Project. It’s an operation that aims to get an awesome DVD gospel presentation called “The Biggest Question” into as many hands as possible by handing them out on college campuses, at sporting events, or anywhere else there’s a lot of foot traffic. Like the idea but your group isn’t quite ready? You can sponsor DVDs for groups who want to distribute them but can’t afford the cost to order.
Join the Club- The Bezeugen Tract Club, that is. Sign up to receive a free 30 day supply of tracts every month, take the daily tract challenge, share Bezeugen’s e-tracts via Facebook and Twitter, donate to supply others with tracts, or volunteer to help with their monthly mailing. This is a great little ministry to take part in.
There are probably more different ways and opportunities for sharing the gospel and furthering mission work now than ever before. Get creative, get out there, and let’s get the good news of the gospel to a lost and dying world.
What are some creative ways YOU like to share the gospel with others or contribute to missions work?