Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
You also must run in such a way that you will win. 1 Corinthians 9:24
OKAY. Pretend that you have a super-huge telephoto lens zoomed up close on you as you sit in rapt attention in your favorite class. Now widen that shot. Exactly how many students sit in your row? Now focus really wide. How many people make up your grade? And how many students are in your whole school?
God’s goal for evangelism is to reach everyone he can squeeze into a wide-angle shot of the whole world. But you could easily get discouraged by the hugeness of that task. Your evangelistic efforts really need to focus first on your inner circle your friends, your teammates, your immediate classmates, etc.
In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, the apostle Paul compares the Christian life to the work of a runner training for a race. He says we are to run so we win the prize (verse24). Evangelism isn’t a fun run; it’s going for the gold. We’re out to rescue as many people as possible to the glory of God. We give it all we’ve got.
And anyone who wants to be a winner runs “straight to the goal with purpose in every step” (verse 26). If you hope to win this race, you need a clear goal. And if you want to maximize your effectiveness in your evangelizing, you need a strategy for reaching and discipling your family, school, and community. Try these steps:
- Define your target. Ask God to impress on you the names of several individuals within your reach. Write down the names and commit yourself to sharing the gospel with each person.
- Pray for your target. Post your list of names where you are sure to see it often and pray for these people daily.
- Surround your target with love. Build bridges to people by becoming their servants. Spend time with them and meet their needs for friendship.
- Present the gospel to your target. Pray for, watch for, and create opportunities to share Christ and call for a commitment.
- Stay connected to those who trust Christ. Your task of sharing the gospel with your non-Christian friends doesn’t end when they trust Christ. They need to be discipled to become disciplers of others.
- Let the Holy Spirit lead you. Stay closely tuned to the Holy Spirit in case he wants to change your plans and lead you in another direction.
You won’t be very successful at sharing Christ with your non-Christian friends unless you define your target and plan how to hit it.
REFLECT: What’s your target for sharing your faith today?
PRAY: Ask God who should be at the center of your witnessing efforts.