I thank God for a growing gospel recovery in our time. Books, articles, and conferences have been written and created to focus on gospel-centeredness, missional living, church planting, and missions overseas. The last several books I have written have Missional or Gospel-Centered (or both) in the title and/or permeating the contents.
I love this renewal of focus, but sometimes I wish I saw a little more emphasis on the verbal proclamation of the gospel by believers to the lost as well. When we read the life of Christ in the Gospels and the story of the early church in the Acts, we read consistently not only of the centrality of God’s redemption to their mission, but a corresponding conviction about its proclamation as well.
Gospel centrality in our philosophy of ministry should lead us to gospel activity in our practice of ministry. Those of us who have influence must help people get the indicative of gospel transformation and the imperative of great commission proclamation. This of course includes both the showing with our lives and the sharing of our lips; it just seems to me the latter rarely gets emphasized as much as the former.
I try to be as active sharing my faith as I am adamant about a missional posture. I want not only to affirm the centrality of the gospel to those I lead who follow Christ; I want to tell this incredible news to my friends and acquaintances who have yet to taste and see that the Lord is good. We do have good news! But Carl F. H. Henry reminds us that it is only good news if it gets there in time. Do we have as great an urgency to rescue the perishing from hell as we do to rescue believers from moralism?
When sharing with young adults in particular I enjoy using stories to illustrate our yearning for the greater Story. Here is a little video I did for Spread Truth (and viewthestory.com) to illustrate a simple yet effective way to live out gospel centrality as we converse with those who have not yet met Jesus. Whatever you find to be helpful — using the Gospel of John, sharing your testimony, or a tool like The Story — let’s be as active in talking to lost people about this good news as we are at speaking with our already redeemed brothers and sisters!