November 2023 Pastor’s Corner — Show & Tell 

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? — Rom. 10:13-15

One of my favorite quotations is often attributed to St. Francis of Assisi.  “Preach the Gospel always.  If necessary, use words.”  I love this quote because it emphasizes how important our actions are in backing up what we say we believe.  Telling others about the Gospel is good; living the Gospel is better.  In last month’s article, we talked about how we live the Gospel in our lives, thinking purposefully about how we live in “uniquely Christian” ways in our areas of influence and the places we go.  As the quote above stresses, it is important that we live what we say we believe, and through those actions, proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those who do not know.

But the quote does not say to not use words.  Words are important, and when it comes to sharing the Gospel and good news of Jesus Christ with others, we do need to use our words.  As the words of the Apostle Paul at the top of this article make clear, there comes a point where we have to invite others to learn more about Jesus Christ.  How are people supposed to know about the goodness of the Lord and the joy of our salvation if we aren’t telling them about it?  When God meets you where you are and you experience His love and grace in a new and different way, that is something we should want to share with other people.  As Peter says in 1 Peter 3:15, “…in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for the hope that is in you.

Telling others about what God is doing in our lives doesn’t have to be a full exposition of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You don’t have to have all the answers, actually, you don’t have to have any of the answers.  Just Jesus.  To paraphrase the (formerly) blind man’s answer in John 9:25, “I don’t know everything there is to know or understand about Jesus.  One thing I do know, I once was blind, but now I see.”  Or even better is Philip’s answer in John 1:46, “Come and see.”  Invite others to “come and see” Jesus for themselves.  Show people what Jesus has done and is doing by living in uniquely Christian ways, and tell them they can come and see for themselves!  It might simply saying something along the lines of, “I had the most incredible experience with God in church this past Sunday.  You should come next Sunday so you can experience it too.”  Or maybe, “I’m so grateful for my church community because they {fill in the blank}.  If you’re looking for genuine community, come with me next Sunday.”  It might even be “Yesterday, my pastor said {fill in the blank}, and I’d never realized that about God/Jesus/The Holy Spirit/etc, and I’m so encouraged!”  Although, it’ll more likely be, “Yesterday, my pastor put his foot in his mouth so badly, and it was hilarious.  Come and hear him do it again this Sunday!”

By all means, seek to love and serve others wherever you go and in whatever you do in uniquely Christian ways.  As much as you’re able, live out the Gospel in which we have found our hope and our life.  Live in such a way that others want to ask you about your hope and faith in Jesus Christ, and tell them about Him! 

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” — Is. 52:7


Rev. David Garrison