Hello! My name is Jared and I am a functional introvert! I learned this about myself long ago and I have had to find ways to cope with this reality. But the truth is, it often makes ministry difficult for me. You see, I like talking to people, I just have a difficult time starting conversation, especially with people I don’t know very well. This feels especially compounded when the opportunity for evangelism presents itself.
I know I am not alone in that struggle and I bet many of you face that same challenge.
But conversation is so important. It is where we make connection, it is where we build depth and intimacy in our friendships, it is where genuine community is fostered, and it is where the gospel is proclaimed.
This semester in Overflow we are teaching through Philippians, and in my preparation this past week I ran across a quote that hit me like a punch in the face. It hurt because it was convicting. It hurt because it was true. It said this, “perhaps our failure to talk about the gospel with unbelievers is tied to our lack of talking about the gospel to anyone, including one another!”
WOW! That will leave a mark!
So how do you and I respond to that accusation? We simply must use it as fuel for inspiration. If we want faithful in our opportunities to share the good news of Jesus with unbelievers (and we should because it is a mandate from Jesus), then maybe Jesus needs to be more present in our conversations with one another.
May that serve as an encouragement and challenge to us all in the days ahead, and may we all remember that as we spend time with Jesus, both in our own time and with others, he stirs our affections, and when he stirs our affections, it becomes evident to those around us. Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13
May Jesus captivate our heart and saturate our conversations, all for the glory of God and His good work!