Is that the word that comes to your mind when you think about “the gospel”?
It should be.
I’ve been neck deep in a huge editing project of a book that is designed for teenagers who are brand new Christians. Part of this book has a section for evangelism training. In reading and editing parts of this section, I have come to the conclusion that many people think we need to explain how to have a relationship with Jesus in these huge, complicated terms. We throw vocabulary around that very few people understand. I grew up in the church. I get the words and the terminology…but I’ve also realized that explaining Christ and what He did for us has to be SIMPLE.
Jesus said that we must come to Him like little children. Matthew 18:2-5 in the Message says it well, “…I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. What’s more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it’s the same as receiving me.” Kids don’t care about what side of the theological fence someone is on. Kids just think its cool that Jesus loved them enough to die on the cross for their sins. Why isn’t that enough for us?
We have missed the point people! Jesus isn’t impressed with our head knowledge of Him. Don’t get me wrong, I did somewhat enjoy taking theology class and I have had to stop myself from getting caught up in debating issues of Christianity that really don’t matter when the rubber hits the road. I grew up in the church and began a relationship with Christ before I could do subtraction and I know how easy it is to default to talking about Jesus in big, lofty, educated terms. I can also forget that someone who didn’t grow up in the church would have no clue what our “Christianese” words mean.
We HAVE to all go back to having a child -like faith. We need to be able to share what we believe about God in terms that anyone would understand. We need to take a step outside of ourselves and think about our audience and the language that speaks to them.
We need to go back to simple.