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How Can You Preach the Gospel?

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How Can You Preach the Gospel?

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The word translated “preach” in the New Testament can also mean “proclaim.” It’s about getting a message out there where people will hear it and respond.

King David once wrote: “Sing to the Lord, bless His name; proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day” (Psalm 96:2). You may have heard the terms “gospel” and “good news” used interchangeably. When considered this way, David is instructing the listener to preach the gospel—and that includes you! How can you get involved?

1. Live Your Life in A Way That Invites Inquiries

Preaching is an action, but when we visualize a typical scenario, it most likely looks something like this: a pastor standing at the lectern giving a sermon. But consider what comes to mind with the word “proclaim”—a message that’s shared publicly, not just in church. A declaration. You are not invisible. Jesus taught that His followers are a light. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16). Light stands out. Jesus didn’t give us the option to be one of those dimmable light fixtures that is brighter when we want it to be. He didn’t add a clause that we can turn the light on and off when it’s convenient. We’re to be a constant example of God’s way of life.

Several years ago, I spoke with a young adult who came into the Church as a teenager. She had a fascinating story of how she, without the aid of her parents or a Church publication, came to learn about God’s truth. In fact, it was as simple as a poster. She was spending the night at her friend’s house, and the two girls got into a conversation about God’s way because of a scripture poster the friend (who attended the Church) had on her wall. What if the poster had been rolled away before guests arrived? It would have been so easy to hide and avoid a potentially awkward conversation altogether. But because one girl decided to let her beliefs be visible to others, she not only had a friend, but eventually a sister in Christ.

2. Create A Compelling Campaign

While we can proclaim the gospel with our actions, one of the more direct ways to spread the good news is through our words. The conversations you have with others carry a message, whether or not you intend for them to. There’s a difference between a garish neon advertisement and a well-planned marketing campaign complete with tasteful graphics. How do you present the gospel? “Ugh, I have to miss the game tomorrow because my parents are taking me to a church thing” or “I’ll have to pass this time because I’m out of town for the Feast of Trumpets, but let’s plan on the next game.” There are a couple of points to consider here. When we present God’s way in a positive light, rather than a religious obligation, we’re more likely to invite interest. Additionally, we spread God’s truth when we refer to the Holy Days and other biblical concepts by their names. It might lead to questions, even if that means research outside of the conversation itself. “Church convention” is too vague for a Google search, but “Feast of Tabernacles” sounds intriguing and might be the first step in a quest for truth.

Perhaps the most powerful marketing tool you have available is social media. Yes, you can preach the gospel with a cell phone! It doesn’t need to be anything formal. It could be as simple as a short video of you and your friends keeping the Feast of Tabernacles (tag with #ucgfot or #compasscheck). Try posting a scripture image from time to time on Instagram. Overall, what type of message does your social media presence send? What type of content earns a like or a share from you? How do you interact with others in the comments? Just as Paul instructed Timothy, a young man in the early Church, “let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). Set an example for future believers!

3. Be Ready to Give an Answer

If you are open about living God’s way and even promote it, questions will arrive. Will you be ready to answer them? We’re instructed to “be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). The best way to be ready is to prepare! The next time you listen to a message at Church, put yourself in the place of one of your friends. What questions would he or she have about the topic? Make a list and see if you know how to answer them. Many times, a message will present the answers along with the questions, but keep in mind that a Church audience is already familiar with most of the terms and biblical stories presented in a sermon. How would you explain these for the first time to your friend? As you ask these questions and learn how to answer them, you are owning your beliefs. This is important as you prepare for your future in God’s Church and work towards eventual baptism!

As you prepare yourself to give an answer for your beliefs, remember that Church family is there to support you! Many of them have faced similar questions, whether in school, in the workplace or elsewhere in their lives. Look for people who did not grow up in the Church themselves—many of them have fascinating stories of how God used a friend or a situation to bring them to a knowledge of the truth.

God commends those who make an effort to share His truth. “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” (Isaiah 52:7). The size contrast presented by a pair of feet versus a mountain may seem tremendous, but God notices when even one person represents His way of life wherever they go.

Like the psalmist David, who proclaimed the good news through song, we each have an opportunity and a responsibility to preach the gospel “from day to day” (Psalm 96:2). Does the way you live your life invite inquiries? Is it a well-crafted marketing campaign? If so, be ready to answer those questions as people in your life will want to know “where can I find this hope?” It’s your turn to preach the gospel! Where will you proclaim the good news in your life?