I started a new semester last night with a great group in my Evangelism 5100 class. I recommend a number of books (and require them to read a couple of mine, along with Robert Coleman’s MasterPlan of Evangelism and at least one more). One I love to recommend is the book Everyday Church by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis. I don’t know Tim Chester, but I’ve had a meal at Southeastern with Steve, and found him to be a delightful and articulate minister of the gospel.
I love Everyday Church and their earlier book Total Church for a lot of reasons. In Total Church they make a great statement, how we need “ordinary Christians doing ordinary things with gospel intentionality.” I love how they build so much of what they do in Everyday Church around the grand narrative of Scripture. But what I love as much as anything they write is the list of four statements about God. Let me list them, and I will add a little personal commentary relating each statement to our witness.
God is GREAT, so I don’t have to be in control. We are all control freaks to some level. This is a reason some don’t share Jesus: we know the drill in church–sing songs, hear a sermon, pray, go to Bible study, serve in a weekly role, give some money, you know. But when we talk with someone outside the church about Jesus, we don’t know where the conversation will end up. But think about it: if God is truly the great one, can’t we serve him regardless of how people respond? Can’t we see our value as witnesses is not based on our control, but his majesty?
God is GLORIOUS, so I don’t have to fear others. If you are a people person, guess what? You are also a people pleaser. But we all have some tendency to want to please those around us. A reason some don’t witness is quite simply because we are more concerned about pleasing the people around us than our heavenly Father.
God is GOOD, so I don’t have to look elsewhere. If we truly believe God is the one who is ultimately good, we can be satisfied in him. As Piper said, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.” I’m afraid a lot of Christians have met Jesus but gotten over it. We lose our love for God in our desire for other good things.
God is GRACIOUS, so I don’t have to prove myself. Romans 8:1 does not say, “there is now therefore some condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” It says NO condemnation. We don’t have to seek to impress God; he knows we aren’t impressive. Yet he loves us. We certainly don’t have to impress others. Jesus is impressive enough!
I hope you will read this book. It’s blessed me. And I hope these four truths about God will encourage you.