Jesus made it pretty clear: “Go into the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” (Mark 16:15)
Facebook, and other social media, make this as easy as it’s ever been. I’m “friends” with a lot Christians on Facebook, and I’ve noticed that the following are the top ways Christians must be trying to lead people to Christ:
1. Argue with nonChristians via comments. The key here is to be as nasty as possible. If a nonChristian posts something about the environment or *GASP!* animal cruelty, be sure to remind them of how awful ISIS and abortion are. This will quickly open their eyes to what a loving God we serve by slapping them in the face and telling them that their feelings about a topic are invalid.
2. Make it clear that you oppose homosexuality. Don’t let there be any question about how much you hate homosexuals. Make posts about this as often as you can. Before you know it, that nonChristian homosexual you know will be sitting in the pew next to you after he/she hears about what an awful person they are. High-five for reposting that blog about how the LGBT community is destroying our country! (But be sure not to mention anything like premarital sex between heterosexual couples because, yeah, that’s a sin, but it’s not as bad as the gay people).
3. Never let on that you sin or struggle. You’re a CHRISTIAN. Remember that. And since you accepted Christ, you haven’t sinned. Doesn’t it feel good? Make sure everyone who is friends with you on Facebook knows what an angel you are.
4. Talk about politics. Often. Jesus was pretty hardcore about politics, and He often talked crap about Roman government leaders. He was also always telling people how their political party had everything to do with their identity. Right up there with being a Christian is being a republican or democrat. (Republicans hate the poor, Democrats hate babies- where do you stand?)
5. Remember this famous verse: “Some have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” But you are not one of those people, so it is your duty to remind others that they HAVE fallen short. Hold your head high Christian, you are one of the good ones!
If you can follow those five simple rules for being a Christian on Facebook, you’ll be leading people to Christ in no time! Jesus was adamant about making people feel guilty about their sin, for boasting in self righteousness and being as nasty as possible to scare people into believing in Him.
We CAN keep this up. Eventually it’s got to work, right? I mean, who wouldn’t want to be a Christ follower with all the awesome posts we make on Facebook?
It’s a common thought I have around big groups of Christian people with a certain personality.
They raise their hands high and say, “Thank you Jesus!” throughout prayer and worship. I partially lift my hands, close my eyes, and silently shed a few tears as I feel the Holy Spirit.
They quote scripture and often pull it into their prayers when praying in front of everyone. I talk to God like He’s my friend, and I suppose I don’t quote scripture to Him because He already knows it.
After my thoughts of, “I’m not like them,” come the thoughts of, “So I must not be as good of a Christian.”
It’s a struggle I’ve had since college. And it’s a false struggle. It’s one that Satan loves to tell me over and over again: “You’re not like them, so you aren’t worthy.”
It hit me recently how incredibly terrible those thoughts are. I know better. I know that God loves me just as much as He loves them, and I know that I don’t have to be like them to be a good person.
But then a seriously disturbing thought hit me like a hurricane: what if some of my students feel the same way? What if I have students who look at some of the “super spiritual” students and staff at school and think, “I’m not like that. I’ll never be like that. So why bother?”
Some conversations with my students this year revealed that some of them have felt that way before.
I knew I needed to say something. God told me I needed to say something. Yes, even though I’m not walking around quoting scripture and raising my hands in worship, I do talk to God. A lot. He gets me. And He knew it had to be said. So on Friday I said it.
The main class I needed to say these things to were my seniors. They’re an interesting bunch. Yes, I teach at a Christian school here in Uganda, but not all of our students are Christian. Many are simply “Christian” only because they’ve been forced to be. There are two boys who don’t even believe in God and have serious issues with Christianity and Christians in general, there is a Hindu girl, some who have a strong faith in God but are not charismatic like a lot of their peers at school, and a few who are.
When I finished sharing, they clapped. That’s a huge thing for this group of ten 12th graders. Their enthusiasm is typically non-existent. But then one of my seniors, who detests most Christians, said, “I just got more from what you said than anything I’ve heard in chapel all year.”
Part of me didn’t want to post that. I don’t want to hurt our chaplain or anyone else who has spoken in chapel. They’ve put their heart and soul into presenting for these kids. However, the fact that he said that completely drives home the point I made to my students: the point they so eagerly accepted and understood.
My overall point was this: Christians are not all the same. We’re not supposed to be.
It’s tough. If the Christians you’re surrounded by all act the same way and that’s just not your personality, it can be discouraging. And from the discussions we had yesterday in class, I discovered that it can be especially discouraging for teens. They think, “I’ll never be like that. That’s just not me to do that or say that.”
And so the next types of thoughts are, “Maybe I’m not a Christian.” Their overly hyped-up Christian classmates also inadvertently make them feel inadequate. They attribute the problem to their “level” of Christianity, when in reality it’s more of a personality difference.
I’m not saying anyone needs to “tone it down” or anything- not students or staff. But the kids who aren’t like that need to know that it’s OK. You can still have an awesome relationship with Christ without being so eccentric.
I also shared with the students the number one way that I’ve shared Christ with people: love. Simply put, love. Love people. Forgive people. Show grace towards people. Have mercy and compassion for people. Love. Love. Love.
I’ve never had someone say to me, “Natalie, thank you for telling me that I need Jesus. It’s made me want to be a Christian.” But I have had people say, “Thank you for loving me and for loving others as unconditionally as possible. I know this is because you’re a Christian, and that helped lead me to Christ.”
“And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:14-15
We’re different. God wanted us to be different. While Christian organizations tend to be flooded with similar personality types, sometimes you need a misfit like myself who can reach out to the people who are different.
Do your thing. Be the person God created you to be. Be a Christian and be YOU. Don’t change your personality to match those of people who appear to be “better.” God loves us all the same!
“I’m not like them” is a legit statement to make about how I feel when I compare myself to most of my co-workers. Thank God for that. If I was exactly like them, I wouldn’t have reached some of the students God used me to reach yesterday. The same goes for them- God has used those people to reach many students this year as well! God uses ALL of us.
I encourage you to read 1 Corinthians 12:12-26. Part of it says, “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.”
I choose to reach people through love and compassion. What works for you? What do you do that brings people to Christ? As long as it does the job, well done! Use your God-given gifts to be a light for Him. And remember, just because you’re not exactly like the Christians around you, that doesn’t mean you aren’t as spiritual or important in the body of Christ. Do your thing. All that matters is what God thinks of you. And He thinks you’re awesome enough that He sent His Son to die on the cross for your sins.
“For God so loved the world that He sent His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16