Are you ready to go beyond surface level Christianity, live out your faith, and share Jesus with others? I think that many of us do, but we just feel stuck in fear and not knowing what to say or how to approach the subject with someone. My church’s mission statement is “reach people far from God and develop reproducing disciples one life at a time.”. This simple statement that I first heard almost 6 years ago has caused me to radically re-evaluate my focus as a believer and has caused an awakening of a desire to reach others with the Gospel in a way I haven’t before.
I want to be a disciple who makes disciples, who sees God’s heart for the nations, and creates an atmosphere within my family where being involved in sharing the Gospel and having conversations about Jesus with others is the norm.
The last command that Jesus gives before leaving this earth is,
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
Please don’t read over this lightly or disregard it because you’ve heard “tell people about Jesus” all of your life. Don’t say to yourself “that’s good, but I know deep down I’m not actually going to do that”. That’s what I’ve done for far too long. I want to model for my daughter what it means to be a disciple who is making disciples and to instill in her a love, understanding and appreciation for the nations, other cultures, and our neighbors.
Can I be up front with you before we go any further? I don’t have this part all figured out. I’m still afraid to share my faith most of the time. But I can tell you that I’ve talked to people more about Jesus in the last 6 months than I have the rest of my life. Why? Because I finally get it. Everyone needs Jesus. Everyone. Not just the people who will walk into the doors of our churches and not just the children in an orphanage in Africa. My neighbor. My co-worker. My family member. God has shifted my focus and softened my heart to really start seeing people. I want to know their stories. I want to make sure they’ve heard about how much the Creator God loves him. You know what else I figured out? I can tell them. I can show them. I can get to know them. I don’t have to be a full time missionary to share Jesus with others. I don’t even have to travel out of my hometown. People far from God are all around me, and they are all around you too. You just have to choose to really be aware, to look people in the eyes, and care enough to not just look past them.
Today I wanted to share a tool that you can use to help you exercise the muscle of recognizing who is around you that needs to know about Jesus. Evangelism isn’t something to add to your to-do list. It’s something that has to become engrained in your day-to-day, you have to train yourself to turn conversations towards the Gospel, and practice sharing your story. Today I want to challenge you to define your “Circles of Influence”. Why? Because the first step to sharing the Gospel is recognizing the people around you who need to hear it!
A circle of influence is a group of people you are already involved with where you have friends or acquaintances. For example, my circles of influence include my workplace, my church, my neighborhood, the group of moms in my daughter’s gymnastic class, and my online community.
I have a free printable for you in the Resource Library to help you organize your thoughts about your Circles of Influence. Click the picture to get access!
Whatever they are, write down your areas of influence in the circles on the printable “My Circles of Influence” . Then really think and pray about the names of people you know for sure are far from God within those groups. On the lines underneath the circles, write down those names. Pray over how God would allow you to make an impact on these people’s lives over the next year. Pray for courage and boldness. Pray for divine appointments. Begin to plan to talk to these people. You don’t have to go and share the Gospel the next conversation that you have, but begin building a relationship. As you grow in your relationship with these people, begin extending hospitality and sharing more of your heart and love for the Lord.
I’d love for you to Visit our Facebook group here and share with us where your circles of influence are!
*This idea is my version of Oikos mapping which is a great tool that my husband uses often when doing Gospel Conversations trainings. I’ll be posting about Oikos mapping soon!