The “Ordinary Time” of summer invites us to give the extraordinary Good News.
According to a recent Barna report, American Christians are less likely to share their faith with others than they were 25 years ago. In 1993, 9 out of 10 Christians agreed with the statement, “Every Christian has a responsibility to share their faith.” Today, only two-thirds agree—a 25-point drop. Conversely, 3 in 10 Christians say “evangelism is the local church’s responsibility” rather than an individual one, a nearly threefold increase from the early ’90s. Overall, believers today are less prone to share the gospel or talk about their faith.
Christianity from its inception has centered itself on sharing the Good News, but apparently, we’re not as comfortable as we once were with that commission, perhaps for understandable reasons. The American church is experiencing serious pain right now: Congregations across the country are shutting their doors due to low attendance. The political environment has us in knots. And the #ChurchToo movement is exposing injustice and sexism against women. While the church contends with these battles, what good news do we have to share?
We still have great news, in fact. Despite our current circumstances, at the center of our faith is still the person of Jesus Christ, the One who holds all things together.
In the Book of Acts, we read the account of how a fledgling faith rises up, and despite great hardship, direct ploys to silence the disciples, and tremendous persecution, the new believers would not be quiet. Today, 2000 years later, the Great Commission has not changed. Then, as now, Jesus commissions us to go and tell others about God’s great love. The apostle Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians that “we have this treasure in jars ...