We who know Jesus have been given so much. Unlike cults like the Jehovah Witnesses or Later Day Saints, our salvation is not dependent on getting others to join. God has saved us without requiring us to work for it.
Therefore our wish to tell others about this wonderful gift, is because we want others to benefit. We are like homeless people who have found somewhere warm to stay, telling other homeless people.
Why the good news needs to taste good
I want my children to grow up healthy, and able to eat a wide range of foods. I could cook unappetising food; that smells funny, is difficult to eat and tastes rubbish and make them eat it. Tell them it’s good for them and they should eat it regardless of its taste.
It would be far better (if I am able) to cook nice tasting food, food that is easy to eat, looks good and smells good, so that they eat the healthy meal more willingly.
The good news is even better for people than good food, so we should make it as palatable as possible without weakening it. Paul was a great fan of this:
For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. –
That is why there are so many ways to spread the good news. God wants to use our creative abilities.
In fact I would go further and say that by making the good news dull or hard, we are as bad as the cook who over boils the cabbage, or overcooks the steak (at least for me). We are putting a stumbling block in the way of people.
So borrowing from Laurence Singlehurst this is a way to share the good news in a way that will help people along the journey to faith, rather than take them too fast along it, or put them off.
At each stage most people will not be ready or willing to move on to the next stage, and that’s fine because we don’t make new Christians, the Holy Spirit does.
Objective: Leave people thinking you are OK and God is good
How: Let people know you are a Christian and that you believe in God, and do things that people consider good.
Objective: Explain the good news including the ups and downs
How: By either inviting people to a low key event that will have it explained, or by more in-depth one to one conversations.
Objective: Give people an opportunity to make a response to the good news
How: When someone is ready to take the next step, then help them to accept Jesus’ gift.
Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. Galatians 6 v 9
Objective: Help people to grow in their faith, and to become mature Christians
How: This is a lifetime’s work, as they grow as a disciple. Healthy small groups and involvement in the mission of the Church help to make people feel involved and motivate them to take often difficult steps.
Examples: Moving On Course, Small groups, Sunday sermons