And he said to them, “As you go into all the world, preach openly the wonderful news of the gospel to the entire human race! – Mark 16:15 TPT
And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. – Mark 16:15 ESV
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. – Mark 16:15 KJV
No matter the translation, Jesus says GO.
I’ve been pondering this thought lately, mostly because (I’m sure like many of you reading this), I am literally quite terrified to just “go.”
I’m definitely not ashamed of Jesus, or to say that I know Him and have been changed by His love. But the idea of “evangelizing” has always been something scary and incredibly uncomfortable for me.
You see, I have been afraid to face the guilt that I feel regarding the fact that in my own mindsets, I don’t seem to “live up to” what I think an evangelist looks like.
Recently, the Lord has utterly broken to pieces these mindsets about sharing my faith. I’ve come to realize that the issue for me in just stepping out and “going” is more of a confidence thing than anything else. Confidence is not a gift or talent; it’s a learned skill. Courage comes when you learn to push past the discouragement and discomfort, and just step out. The way to build confidence is to step out….get rejected…reflect on what you can do better….adjust….step out again. And again. And again. Always relying on the leading and power of the Holy Spirit, every step of obedience builds confidence.
All He needs is willingness. And as my friend Megan shared with me yesterday, “there are no great evangelists…only willing ones.”
The idea that if you don’t look like Billy Graham or Reinhard Bonnke, then you cannot share your faith – that is a lie that goes hand-in-hand with guilt, which does NOT come from the Father. Though some are called to those kinds of crusades, the majority of us are called to live everyday Christian lives. And we everyday Christians are the very ones that the Lord is wanting to use in this new era.
The Holy Spirit told me recently that if a Christian can articulate with conviction why they dropped everything to follow Jesus, and what it is about Jesus that is worth dropping everything to follow, then that Christian can “evangelize.” It’s easier to “GO” when you know what to say. And learning to say it with conviction from a place of intimacy with Him is the extra oil that ads to the power of your testimony.
Let me encourage you as I encourage myself today: God doesn’t say to wait for a street outreach. He doesn’t say to wait for a mission trip abroad. He doesn’t say to wait for the next big conference, or even your own Church’s events. He says, simply, GO…and He will empower you to do so (see Acts 1:8).
Child of God….here is permission. In the grocery store. At the post office. With your neighbor or coworker or client or even your own family. The greatest harvest the world has ever known is starting, and we all get the amazing privilege of being a part of it!
— Mandy Woodhouse
Photo: from Unsplash.com by artist Portuguese Gravity