USA (MNN) — According to a Barna report released last month, nearly half of Christian Millennials think “it is wrong to share one’s personal beliefs with someone of a different faith in hopes that they will one day share the same faith.” In contrast, only 27 percent of Generation X, 19 percent of Boomers, and 20 percent of Elders are hesitant to talk about their faith in Jesus with non-Christians.
The issue isn’t that Millennials don’t feel equipped to share their faith. Eighty-six percent of Millennials said if someone raises questions about faith, they know how to respond. But evangelism today has received a bad reputation in American society. Barna points to possible factors such as growing spiritual apathy and cultural distrust of religion.
Faith-sharing; a thing of the past?
Jesus’s final orders to his followers were to “go and make disciples of all nations.” This is known as the Great Commission.
But Ron Hutchcraft with Ron Hutchcraft Ministries says the Great Commission is quickly becoming the Great Omission.
“Missions conferences used to be just part of the life of virtually every Bible-teaching church in America. Now they are becoming an endangered species. You don’t see too many missions conferences anymore,” Hutchcraft says.
“The Urbana conference has been an epicenter of new missionaries being called to go and carry out Jesus’s orders. Their attendance was, for the first time, down nearly one-third just a couple of months ago. That is a troubling sign.”
In addition to a cultural shift away from faith-sharing, Hutchcraft says the focus of some churches is shifting. “There is declining support for missions because I think a lot of times our churches are focusing more resources on their church and inward and on their own community. That’s Jerusalem, but what about Judea and Samaria and the outermost parts of the earth?”
Sharing our faith with those who don’t know Jesus isn’t optional. Hutchcraft says it is critical — the difference between life or death in eternity for those we love.
Warning the endangered
He recently saw a video clip that presented a powerful picture of a Christian’s urgent mission. The video was from the tsunami that struck Indonesia in December last year.
“A man was on top of a roof just a few blocks from the oceanfront and he saw this approaching monster wave coming toward the people below him. But they were down below and they were few blocks away [with] a lot of trees. They couldn’t see it…. He is just yelling down to the people below and trying to warn them of what only he sees coming.”
Although the man is speaking in his native language, Hutchcraft says you could understand his heart. “As it gets closer and closer, you hear him sobbing in this voice trying to tell them, ‘Get to the higher ground! Get to higher ground while you can!’
“We are that man on the roof because we know the Bible says, ‘It is appointed to man once to die, and after this the judgment.’ That judgment for human sin was taken by Jesus on the cross, but the people down below don’t know that and they don’t see what’s coming.”
As Christians, we can be hesitant to share our faith with others because we don’t want to offend. We don’t want to be labeled as an extremist. We don’t want to create an uncomfortable situation. But if we sense the urgency of eternity and recognize how severe our need is for Jesus, how can we not tell others about Him?
Mouthpieces of God
Hutchcraft suggests we start by reaching our spheres of influence with the Gospel — our family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and even your connections on social media.
Think of someone you know who doesn’t have a relationship with Jesus. Commit to praying for their salvation. Pray for an opportunity to talk with that person about the impact Christ has on your life.
“Every believer has someone lost within their reach. So how are you doing with that?… I would suggest every believer has something that can help get the Gospel to this lost world. You may not even realize what you have but in His hands, it could help accelerate the spread of the Good News of Jesus.”
Hutchcraft references the moment in Exodus 4 when God commands Moses to serve as His mouthpiece to the pharaoh of Egypt and the Israelites. As a sign to the Israelites, God tells Moses to throw his staff on the ground. When Moses does this, it miraculously turns into a snake. And it doesn’t stop there. Throughout Exodus, God uses Moses’s staff to perform several miracles for His people.
“Same stick! In Moses’ hands, all it could do is round up a few sheep. In God’s hands, it can melt the heart of Pharaoh, it can turn the Nile to blood, and it can part the Red Sea. All the difference is what you’ve already got in your hand, God says, ‘I’m not asking you to go get something new. I’m asking you to throw [your talents] down for the rescue mission I’m sending you on. I’m asking you to make that rod of yours into the rod of God.’”
For example, Hutchcraft says, “I heard recently of one brother who has invited all kinds of Muslim refugees over to his house because he loves to cook. He threw that down and let the Lord pick it up. He has got like 75 Muslim people that are coming all the time for his cooking, several of whom have given their hearts to Christ!
“So, what do you have in your hand?’”
Ron Hutchcraft Ministries has resources to help you share your faith confidently and reach others with the Gospel. Click here to learn more at their website!
“The only way every young believer is going to have a chance at Jesus possible is if every single believer is in the game,” says Hutchcraft. “There is no way 7.5 billion people are going to have the chance somebody gave us unless everybody is in the game.”
Header photo courtesy of Yolanda Sun via Unsplash.