“I am an ambassador-homemaker. I have young children. I cook, clean, help with homework and bring the kids to school. Wherever I go, I am on the lookout for how I can share the gospel with others. I plan for my day as a homemaker by setting aside time and budget to manage my household well. I plan for my day as an ambassador by setting aside time and budget to make sure I am ready at all times to share the gospel whether by giving away a gospel resource or sitting down and guiding someone through the Bible.”
You may be a homemaker, young mum, executive in a large firm, mechanic or a student. But you are also an Ambassador for Christ. It’s one thing to just acknowledge we have this job. It’s quite another to be deliberately and intentionally getting ready to do this job well. But how do we become good ambassadors? Here are five steps.
1. Be ready
“And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way.” (1 Peter 3:15,16 NLT)
God has a way of ‘opening doors’ of opportunity for those who are ready. This is because God is a God “who wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4 NIV)
We believe God delights in nudging unsaved inquirers towards those he knows are prepared to give an answer—a clear gospel. Don’t be surprised at the opportunities (doors that open) when you are prepared. They may come in totally unexpected ways.
You can be ready by preparing a Be Ready Box and filling it with the tools you know you might need for the people in your sphere of influence.
2. Be praying
Pray for opportunities. Maybe you haven’t had opportunities to share the gospel because you have never asked God specifically for them. Begin by asking God for one person to whom you can give the gospel. Later on, that first person usually leads to other opportunities when he asks, “Will you teach my fiancé, my brother, my husband, etc.” If not, ask God for another fresh opportunity.
3. Be intentional
As believers, we are to be salt and light in the world. But this can only happen as we are among the unsaved. This means the unsaved need to observe our lives. We may be the only ‘Bible’ our friends will ever read. So we should never underestimate the power of the living letters of our lives. This may mean stepping out of our comfort zone, becoming friends of sinners. It may also mean listening to hours of ‘empty’ conversation and witnessing, first hand, the spiritual darkness of lives and relationships that are without Christ.
4. Be patient
It can take time to build meaningful relationships—to build trust. This is especially true when those we want to reach have been turned off or offended by negative experiences with churches or over-zealous Christians who tried to force the Bible down their throats. They have inadvertently created a ‘Christian’ gag reflex.
Remember, we are to be ready to give an answer, not push answers to questions they are not asking. Your unsaved friend may not be interested in spiritual things today or even this year, for that matter. But this often changes when a crisis hits them or their loved ones. Often that opens the doors for us to love them and share our hope with them.
Keep in mind that Jesus was a true friend of Judas for three years. The night he was betrayed, none of the other disciples had any idea who Jesus was talking about. Even John the Beloved did not know. Jesus had not treated Judas any different than the other disciples—he loved them the same. We, too, can trust God for the grace and the loving kindness required to be true friends of sinners, without compromise.
5. Be doing it
Last—be doing it! Opportunities may come in different ways and in different places. There may be sudden opportunities—times when the Lord seemingly brings people across our paths that are hungry for answers. Other opportunities may occur after a longer friendship, after a time of building trust. But whether long or short, one thing is for certain: God desires that every believer be involved in communicating the gospel to a dying world. Teaching the Bible’s message to the unsaved is not a passing fad—it is a way of life! It’s a lifelong lifestyle.
The book of Acts records a time when the Apostle Paul found himself standing trial before King Agrippa in Rome. Agrippa reacted to Paul’s evangelistic efforts saying,
“Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to become a Christian?” (Acts 26:28 NIV)
It was a fair question. But Paul had no illusions about the huge worldview adjustment Agrippa would need to make in his thinking. Paul insightfully responded,
“Short time or long—I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am [a believer in Jesus Christ], except for these chains.” (Acts 26:29 NIV)
A personal ministry
These five steps outline what your personal ministry can look like. You may never be called to a foreign mission field; you may never get up in a pulpit to preach to thousands at a time; but you can, in your own daily life, be ready at all times to share the gospel by giving away a book.