Oftentimes people aren’t aware of some of the sacrifices that we who pastor small churches are asked to make. My wife Donna and I each work a couple of secular jobs in order to continue the ministries our loving Master Christ Jesus has called us to. The church I am so blessed to under-shepherd for our awesome Lord is Connecticut River Baptist Church. Although CRBC has recently had to move back to house church status, we continue in the Holy Spirit to be seven strong who are in the midst of revival!

Although our brothers and sisters would love to provide more for us, we as a local fellowship just do not have the resources at this time. Since Donna and I do not have the luxury of a parsonage or a fulltime salary, we choose to assist our dear church family in other ways so that the ministry God has called CRBC to do together in the barren spiritual Vietnam known as Claremont, New Hampshire can continue. If you feel led, we surely covet your prayers as this is an area which does not have a healthy church community.

Looking For The Little “Spark”

An interesting thing happened one day while I was preparing notes for a Sunday message as I monitored the study hall at my secular job at Stevens High School. I got to share Jesus with two students, and I felt led to tell you about it as a way to encouragement you that you can also do the same kind of thing. I have changed their names so there will be no chance of saying something that might cause them embarrassment. So as I tell you about Fred and Irv, I also want to share with you a quick way to share Jesus in a postmodern world and to get into a dialogue with someone about the Christian faith. It’s so important that we remember to stay on the important points and not to get sidetracked into lesser issues.

A couple of weeks earlier I had been listening while Fred and Irv were talking with another teacher in my room about the subject of religion. Fred had said that his mom made him go to Kingdom Hall with her, and that he didn’t like that. This told me he was associated with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, as they call their “church” Kingdom Hall. I logged that away for future opportunity–this would prove valuable in a moment. One day these two students were the only ones in the classroom with me. Fred said to me, “You sure do write a lot.” This was an opening–a little “spark.” If you want to be an effective witness for Christ, ask Him to help you see them when they occur.

So I replied, “As a pastor, I do a lot of research so my congregation will be well informed. For instance,” I said, “I need them to understand the differences between what they believe as Christians, and what non-Christian cults like the Mormons, the Jehovah’s Witnesses and false religions like the Roman Catholic Church believe.”

Right on cue Fred said, “We’re Jehovah’s Witnesses.” However, because he’d forgotten that he had talked about that before, he didn’t see me as attacking him personally, so he wasn’t offended by what I had just said.

So I continued, “Then you’d know that they claim to be Christian. And the issue is–there was a real Person called Jesus of Nazareth, Who is the Christ. The Bible tels us those who followed Him were called ‘Christians’. So to truly be a Christian, one has to teach what Christ taught. Does that make sense? And since the Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t teach what Jesus of Nazareth taught, then they shouldn’t call themselves Christians. Now, of course they have every right to teach and believe whatever they want to, but they can’t call themselves Christians. You see how that works, guys?” The key here is to just go right on through this line of reasoning quickly before the person you are talking with can interrupt you.

By this time Irv was now listening as well, and sure enough, he decided to enter the conversation. If you‘ve shared your faith in Christ lately here in postmodern America, see if what he is about to say sounds familiar to you. “Religions all say they have some truth…” Then he just kind of trailed off, but the implication was: How can anyone possibly know if any of them are true? This is the most common view you will run into here in the United States of Paganism.

So I briefly went into the law of non-contradiction and showed them logically that all religions can’t be true. Simply: If all religions contradict each other (and they do), then they could all be false, but only one could be true. And you’d be surprised at just how much people will understand when you make the time to explain it to them.

The Heart Of The Matter

Now that I was able to get them to see the logical contradiction there, I took them to the very heart of the matter. This all took less than five minutes, and because I was honoring Christ Jesus, the Holy Spirit kept their attention. We must always remember, that no matter how eloquent we like to think we are–there is absolutely nothing we can ever say as a human being that will convince anyone to accept Christ–this is solely the realm of God the Holy Spirit.

First I said, “Now I can talk to you about the reality of my experience with Him as Jesus lives inside of me and I talk with Him every day. I know He’s alive. But that doesn’t necessarily help you, so I can tell you about Him from an historic point of view as well. We know beyond doubt from many sources that a Man named Jesus of Nazareth did, in fact, live. We have many sources to get this information that is even outside of the Bible, and what is contained in these nonreligious sources are simply facts recorded from history.”

“However, according to the Bible you have the books Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.” I count them on my fingers as I say the names, starting with my index finger. Then I refer to my fingers as I say – “Matthew and John (my index and little fingers) were men who eyewitnesses–directly talking to, and living with, Jesus face to face–just as I am with you right now. Mark was Peter’s assistant, and we know Peter was an eyewitness, and Luke traveled with Paul–who was also an eyewitness. So we have strong testimony and evidence about what Jesus of Nazareth said, and the things that He did.”

Then I pointed to myself and said, “And Jesus taught John (pointing to Fred), and John taught a man named Polycarp (pointing to Irv).” Pointing now in reverse order, I told them – “And Polycarp said that John personally told him that Jesus claimed He was God. Oh, and now we have a whole different level of thought going on here guys. You see, if Jesus really is God, then He knows where this universe came from, and what really is true about how life began. Can you guys see how that works?”

They nodded their heads. Remember now, whether they really understood or not is a matter for God the Holy Spirit to deal with. Our job is simply to be prepared to share Jesus with others around us (see–1 Peter 3:15). Then I pointed to the far wall as I said – “You see, my job as a Christian, Fred and Irv, is to say to you: Do you see Jesus on that cross dying for your sins? Then you might tell me: No; I have this question. So I then go and move that question out of the way (I make a motion like I’m moving something big out of the way of the cross before them), and then I would ask you again: Now can you see Him?”

No Pressure–Look For The Spark!

By the time I had gone through all of this, the class period was ending, but their reactions and responses were very positive. Of course this doesn’t guarantee they will accept Christ, but by sticking as close as possible to the central issues: Who is Jesus; What did He do; and How do we know about Him–I was able to plant a lot of information into them in a short period of time that God the Holy Spirit can later use as He will.

Beloved, I exhort you not to get all bogged down as to who you are to share your faith with. You needn’t let yourself feel “pressured” – look for the spark! One minister put it very well when he said:

Sharing Jesus in the workplace doesn’t mean that you “force” the conversation on everyone. That would like trying to start a forest fire in a driving rain storm. Rather; ask Jesus to show you where the “sparks” are that you can just fan into flame. I don’t share the Gospel like this unless I see the opening. The key is to develop a loving relationship with Jesus by allowing God’s Holy Spirit complete access to you. Then you will just see Him open your eyes when He puts you near a person that He is “sparking.”

This is about as good advice as I have found on to how to go about the business of the true Christian–summed up very well by the ol’ classic hymn: Go Tell It On The Mountain. By all means: “Tell it!” The single most important thing we can ever do for people in quickly fading postmodern America, as this Age of Grace rapidly draws to a close, is to be all about telling people about Jesus Christ of Nazareth–the only Savior of hopelessly lost mankind (see–Acts 4:10-12).

Men and women, with so many confusing and contradictory deceptions–such as the purpose driven life and the Emergent Church–entwining themselves around the throat of Evangelicalism it has so important to be willing vessels looking for those “sparks.” The good news is, that as the darkness of this apostasy grows, for the true Christian they will be that much easier to see. And always remember, if there is anything I can do to help here at Apprising Ministries, please do not hesitate to ask. We want you to know that the contact information is there because we care about Sharing JesusIn A Postmodern World.

Soli Deo Gloria!