By: Kris Dolberry– A few years ago, I had the opportunity to speak at a conference in Chicago. On day 2 of the conference, I had my afternoon free. Since this was my first visit to the Windy City, I was excited to take in the Chicago scene. So I went to the Lincoln Park Zoo, got an old fashioned Chicago dog, and breezed through the Magnificent Mile. And I enjoyed every minute of it. But the best part of my visit (besides speaking at the conference of course) was trying authentic Chicago-style pizza for the first time. Can I just say, I think it’s the best thing I have ever eaten in my entire life. I loved it so much that I went back the next day for round two. The only thing missing from that experience was my family. I could hardly wait to get back to Nashville, to share this newfound treat with the people I loved the most.
What my experience proves is that everyone is a natural evangelist. Think about when you fell in love with your wife or the last time you saw a great movie or enjoyed a new restaurant. What did you do? I’ll bet that you could hardly wait to share it with someone. This desire within us points to something greater. This is part of God’s master plan for using His people to take the message of the Gospel to people who’ve not yet heard. God has designed it so that when Jesus marks a man’s life, we naturally share Him with others.
Many men, however, do not know where to start. But the good news is Jesus had a lot to say about this in Acts 1:8. He said…
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
In this verse, Jesus very practically gives us 3 domains in which he wants every believer to share the message of the gospel:
1) YOUR WORLD
No matter if you have been a Christian for 40 years or 1 day, you have a sphere of influence. We all do. “Jerusalem” is those who are like you. Those who look like you, talk like you, or have the same interests as you. These are your neighbors, other soccer dads, and that guy at work. This is your family. It’s worth noting that when a man comes to faith in Christ, his family will follow 93% of the time. We see this in the Bible with stories of men like Zaccheus and Cornelius. Jesus started with Jerusalem and the place should start is his Jerusalem. His world. Who’s in your world. Ask God to show you. I would encourage you to make a list of 3-5 people you can share your story with.
2) BEYOND YOUR WORLD
Next Jesus said to be His witness in “Judea and Samaria”. These are people who are different than you– those of a different socio-economic class, different race, or different lifestyle. It is important for you to be aware of those beyond your world. Every time my friend Kieth eats at a restaurant, he asks the server how he can pray for her. Often that will open conversation and create opportunities to share the transforming power of Jesus. Before your feet hit the floor each morning, pray that God would give you eyes to see ways that you can reach beyond your world. Then, act.
3) THE WHOLE WORLD
God’s heart beats for the nations. Jesus said, in Acts 1 that we shouldn’t share with our world without caring about the “ends of the earth”– the whole world. God has not called all of us to sell everything and move to the African bush to live as missionaries for 10 years. (He most definitely has called some to do that.) But, He has called all of us– every follower of Jesus– to impact the nations for the sake of the Kingdom. How? We can all pray. A great reminder for me to pray for unreached people groups is the Joshua Project. Most of us can give. Whether it’s a little or a lot, if we can’t go, we can financially support those who do. How can you care about the whole world?
Men shouldn’t be fearful when it comes to this. God has designed you for it, and given the Holy Spirit to empower and energize you for it. Imagine what will happen we step into our fear and enter the fray! Revival could come to our home, church, and community. May that be so with us!\\
Kris Dolberry is a pastor, speaker, writer, and church consultant. After serving in pastoral leadership for 17 years, Kris now leads Ministry to Men at LifeWay and serves as Executive Editor of Stand Firm, a daily devotional magazine for men. Kris is husband to Vanessa and dad to Konnor, Emma, and Brady. They live outside Nashville, Tennessee.