Recently, I met with a new believer whom I was beginning to disciple. He was new to church life and to the idea of what it really meant to be a Christian.
His testimony was simple but powerful. He began to believe that there was a God and that this God could help him. He was invited to church by a friend and reluctantly decided to give it a try. In a matter of months, Jesus moved in his heart in a mighty way, and he confessed that Jesus was Lord.
As we sat down to talk I realized just how little he knew about Jesus. He told me, “All I know is that Jesus was in a basket in some river as a baby.” Some of you might giggle at such an idea. We know that the person he is describing is Moses.
However, he is an intelligent person who simply had heard so little about Jesus. He assumed the baby in a basket story was about Jesus. He also asked me how long did it take for Jesus to write the Bible. I love these types of questions because it’s amazing to see people discover Jesus for the first time.
There are still people really close to you who don’t know Jesus. I don’t mean that in the salvation sense. I mean it in the most basic way possible. They simply do no know who Jesus is, what He taught or why this matters.
Many of us have been in the church or around Christians for so long we assume everyone has the basics of our beliefs stored somewhere in their minds. This assumption has impacted our evangelism in a negative way. We use Christian words and tell stories as though people are familiar with the names and settings.
When I preach, I do my best to make sure everyone knows where the book of the Bible we are studying is located. I pause for a long time and wait until everyone has found it. Some get to the book and chapter in a matter of seconds, but for others it can take a minute or more.
I suggest we always, always wait for those who are not familiar with the Bible to find it, so they can read along with the rest of us. Far too often, we move quickly, and in doing so, we leave behind those who need to be taught the most.
Being around people who have little or no understanding of our faith is the only way to be made aware of how much we miscommunicate to the lost people around us. Asking someone if they have been washed by the blood of the Lamb is only helpful if they know lots of Biblical teachings. Can you imagine asking that of someone who has no idea what you are talking about? They might think you are a voodoo doctor.
One of the reasons for this gap in communication is because so few Christians engage in conversations with those who are not like them. We have created our own cultural safe space with its own language, music and stores. As we sit comfortably in our pews, there is a world outside that is oblivious to the truth of the Gospel.
The fix is easy though. Talk to people about Jesus. Talk to the person at the gas station, the restaurant and your work. The more you talk about Jesus the more opportunities you have to answer questions about what a Christian actually is.