I knelt to pray but not for long,
I had too much to do.
I had to hurry and get to work
For bills would soon be due.
So I knelt and said a hurried prayer,
And jumped up off my knees.
My Christian duty was now done
My soul could rest at ease.
All day long I had no time
To spread a word of cheer
No time to speak of Christ to friends,
They'd laugh at me I’d fear.
No time, no time, too much to do,
That was my constant cry,
No time to give to souls in need
But at last the time, the time to die.
I went before the Lord,
I came, I stood with downcast eyes.
For in his hands God! Held a book;
It was the book of life.
God looked into his book and said
“Your name I cannot find
I once was going to write it down . . .
But never found the time.” – author unknown
Two events occurred this past week that encouraged me, challenged me, humbled me and reminded me of the importance of talking to others about Jesus. The first was a phone call from a sister who just turned ninety years of age. She was requesting assistance in finding a preacher in another state to visit her niece. She has been involved in a Bible study with her niece in recent weeks. She believes that if the right person contacts her niece and if her niece finds the right church she will give her life to the Lord.
The second event was a hospital visit. This time I was visiting a sister who recently turned one hundred years of age who has a blood clot in her leg.
When I walked into the room she said, “I’m so glad you came to see me, I have something I want to talk to you about.” (There are times that a statement like that puts fear in the heart of a preacher, but not this time!) This dear sister continued by asking me if I would be willing to assist her in a Bible study that she has set up with her rehab nurse. She has been talking with her about the Bible and the young woman has agreed, along with her boyfriend, to study the Bible. I told her it would be an honor to be a part of that study. She said, “I thought that’s what you would say.”
One sister is ninety years young, the other 100 years of age, and they are involved in teaching people about Jesus! Which brings me to the title of this article, “TELL ME AGAIN WHY WE CAN’T TALK TO OTHERS ABOUT JESUS?” For those of us who are Christians, we have no excuses. If we have been saved we should be telling someone the Good News. We sometimes say we are too busy, we don’t feel well enough, we don’t know enough, we can’t find the people, or we attempt to dismiss what one friend of mine calls our “evangelistic laryngitis,” with some other reason.
Sometimes we forget that we have been saved to help others find salvation; we have been redeemed to tell others about redemption; we have been introduced to the Lord so that we might introduce others to Him. Christianity really is, one beggar helping another beggar find bread. My two dear senior Christian sisters make me want to do better. Is there someone in your world that you can reach out to this week?
In an assembly of preachers, a man who preaches for a large congregation was asked to share what the large church was doing to promote such growth. Each preacher got his pen ready to take notes of each fantastic program and idea that made the large congregation tick.
However, a very unexpected answer was to be given. The speaker said, “We have no organized programs, no promotions, no drives, no advertising programs, and no buses.”
In stunned amazement someone suggested that the preacher must surely do a lot of personal evangelism. Again, they were surprised when the preacher said that he did not do an excessive amount of visiting. He indicated that most of his time was spent in studying for his classes and sermons. Of the last 50 people who had been baptized, the preacher had only worked personally with two of them.
The secret of their success was very simple and in keeping with biblical examples. They believed in the priesthood of all believers and this leaves them free to develop their own work and ministry. They work on the principle that each one has a gift from God and that he ought to develop a work around that gift involving those of like interest. Of course, considerable encouragement is given for each member to develop his talents and use them in the work of the Lord.
Indeed, this large congregation did have a lot of work going on, but it was developed in a spontaneous way by the members themselves. Most of the growth has come through Bible studies when the church members invite a few members and several non-members into their home to study the Word of God. They selected a book of the Bible or a topic and then studied through it. Many such groups are in progress.
This concept gets back behind a strong tradition of how “church work” is to be done. It gets back to biblical model and, most important, it works practically.
No one has to wait around for someone to start a project and put a deacon, or elder, or preacher in charge. Each member allows the Lord to use his/her talent and the congregation grows for God gives the increase. I believe this system has great merit and should demand our immediate attention. If not, why not?