Sam Rohrer: Well don’t you like to hear good news ladies and gentlemen? I sure do. You know, getting word of a child or a grand child excelling in school activities or sports, or you know planning for a lifetime anniversary trip with your spouse to some nice place like Hawaii or somewhere and sharing that with others, or perhaps, and we’ve all been in this position, maybe the doctor has just diagnosed you or a loved one with some bad disease and then it’s miraculously healed. All of those are good news. Good news comes in many forms and when it comes, it’s only natural to want to share it with others.
While it’s hard for most Americans to imagine, think of me with this example, what if food became scarce and your neighbors were beginning to starve? We can hardly imagine that in this country but it does happen and what if you became aware of a store of food that was free and available just for the asking? Wouldn’t you take that good news and consider that to be good news and share it with your neighbors and others and wouldn’t they like to hear that?
Well unfortunately, according to the latest Barna Research from the Barna Research Group, now get this, listen to this as I lay this out, nearly half, 47% to be exact of millennials, identified as practicing Christians. So that’s the key, 47% of millennials who say they’re practicing Christians believe that sharing the good news of Jesus and biblical truth in an evangelistic sort of way with those around them, is not necessarily, they’re saying bad news, but it’s wrong news as in it’s wrong to do that.
Well today we’re going to talk about this research. Unless you believe that this research and what we’re going to talk about applies only to millennials, which is the group most likely to comprise the age of those of you listening, your children and grandchildren. I submit that applies to you and me just as well. We’re going to talk about this tragedy today, not only from the millennial perspective but as it applies to us as moms and dads and grand moms and grand dads as well.
Our general theme for today’s program is this, when the good news becomes wrong news. Well with that road map for the program today, let me welcome you to stand in the gap today, I’m Sam Rohrer and I’m going to be accompanied by Dr. Gary Dull, a special guest who works closely with the millennial and the generation Z generation and others, is going to help comment on this incredibly alarming research. His name is Dillon [Borroughs 00:02:51], he is a co-host of Truth for New Generation Radio Program and he also happens to be a senior writer or perhaps the senior writer for the John Ankerberg Show which some of you no doubt have watched in the past.
With that I want to welcome you to the program. Dillon, thanks for being with us today.
Dillon B.: Hey great to be with you.
Sam Rohrer: We got a lot to go over here. Tell us, because you know how to do this, take about one minute, tell us about Truth to a New Generation and what you do with them, can you do that please?
Dillon B.: Well sure, Truth for a New Generation is a world view ministry that’s focused specifically on young people, teenagers and college students, young adults and it consists primarily of conferences that have been hosted for over 20 years across the nation with Dr. Alex McFarland and many of the names you would know, Josh [McDowell 00:03:36] and others and consists of media which we do through Truth for a New Generation Radio and American Family Radio Network and others each week, as well as resources Dr. McFarland, and has published nearly 20 books and has regularly in the media, in articles and interviews, and myself as well and publishing and social media and online news.
So together we’re doing all we can to help this next generation know God’s truth and communicate it with others and also equip those who influence them, such as parents and coaches and church leaders, know how to invest as 2 Timothy 2:2 says, “So we can our into others who would still help others beyond them.” Multi generational discipleship, that’s the goal.
Sam Rohrer: Excellent, well stated and good job. I think that’s very clear and so greatly needed and that’s why I want you on the program here today. Let me go into a little bit of the research, a recent study by the Barna Research Group resulted in an article published yesterday in the Christian Post. It was startling and it’s the basis for the program today. Just a bit of facts about it, May of 2018, Barna Research Group conducted a study with over 1,000 practicing Christians as they defined it, and 1,001 not practicing Christians. In that study there were several key findings that we’ll examine today.
The lead finding is that millennial Christians, those born between 1984 and 1988 say they feel equipped to share their faith with other people, with nearly 75% responding that they both know how to respond when someone asks faith related questions, and I’m reading from the article here, and they believe that they are gifted at doing so. However, a significant percentage, 47% regard that sharing at least somewhat wrong. Hmm interesting. Gary, let me start with you, just to get our definitions assigned and established here right off, define in simplest terms if you can, the good news and evangelism and where we get the idea that sharing that good news is in fact something that we need to do.
Gary Dull: Well Sam, the word evangelism really basically means to proclaim good news and as Christians we have the responsibility to proclaim the good news of the gospel. According to 1 Corinthians 15:3, that’s the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The biblical basis of that is very clear, it’s a part of the great commission. In mark 16:15 we’re told to, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel.” So it’s our responsibility to evangelize and share the good news with not only those around us but the entire world.
Sam Rohrer: Okay Gary, that’s the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ, what we call the Christian, the biblical message and there’s a mandate to go out and do that. Alright about a minute left before the break, Dillon but when I shared that information, I know you’ve looked at that article as well, are you surprised by this research and that there are those who say they know of good news but [crosstalk 00:06:35].
Dillon B.: Yeah I was going to say, many are surprised that this actually right in line with what we’re seeing in churches now. We’re not talking about the unchurched, we are seeing larger numbers of students and young adults who know what the gospel is but think it is somehow wrong to share it with someone else. They think that they will offend someone or there’ll be negative consequences upon them. So there’s this pressure to remain silent and it lies in direct contrast with what scripture says about not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I’m excited to talk more about why this is a faulty view of the gospel and what we can do to change this, whether it’s in our own lives or in the lives that we influence as young people.
Sam Rohrer: Excellent Dillon. Ladies and gentlemen, we are talking today, the theme, when the good news, the good news of the gospel, when the good news becomes wrong news. That’s the subject of latest research article yesterday, Christian Post, but it came from a Barna Research study which shows that 47% of millennials who say they’re practicing Christians and who know the truth, feel, well that it’s wrong to share it. A bizarre position, really truly it is.
What does it say about a culture or a generation in our nation who say they are practicing Christians, and where faith is in fact important to them, and where they say they know both the facts about their Christian faith and believe that they are good at effectively communicating their faith and leading another person to the knowledge of that truth, but still nearly half don’t share the good news because they’ve come to the point where they feel it is wrong to do so.
Well how do you respond ladies and gentlemen to this apparent paradox because I looked at this information, I said, “Something needs to be dug out here a little bit and understood more,” as in how can that be? I mean can you know the truth and have good news and not share it? Well we know that’s possible, well is that a result of fear? Is it a result of selfishness? Maybe it’s pride? Does it result from maybe not really knowing the good news in the first place but only knowing perhaps the facts about the good news?
Well to consider this strange and almost contradictory set of research we’re going to talk again with Dillon Burroughs, co-host of Truth for the Next Generation. Dillon, in this research in particular as identified in yesterdays Christian Post article, almost half of millennials, 47% agree, and I’m reading now from it, “Agree that at least somewhat that it is wrong to share ones personal beliefs with someone of a different faith in hopes that they will one day share that same faith. Despite the fact that almost 75% say they know the facts and how to do it, in fact they feel they’re good at it.”
In working with millennials and youth Dillon, what’s likely the most significant cause as you are out there looking and talking with the people and looking at this article that would create this apparent contradiction?
Dillon B.: Well from what I’ve seen, the top concern is this fear of criticism because the same study notes that nearly two-thirds of millennial Christians believe others will be offended if they share their faith. This leads to three concepts I want to mention real quickly to your audience, one is that our social media saturated society has placed more emphasis on likes than on truth. By that I mean, many young people today, they’re biggest fear is what someone will say about them after they post something on Instagram rather than what the truth is or how to communicate it but, a second concern is this failure to understand the consequences of what happens to those who don’t believe in Jesus.
For me I grew up in a very evangelistic church where there was a focus on talking about Jesus because if you don’t there are consequences, but it’s amazing for me to talk to the average American Christian who does not seem very bothered that their lost loved ones will spend eternity in hell separated from God without Christ. That’s a change that has taken place generationally but then the third concern is the lack of biblical teaching on Christ coming.
I believe I’ve seen it very strongly in the past 20 years or so that there are different views about the end times among believers of course, but the New Testament places an urgency on sharing the gospel because Jesus is coming back at any moment but now there’s too much of a focus I believe on what happens here and now in this world, in this day and age, and many believers seem to have forgotten that this is the goal, that we share Christ because he’s coming back any moment.
Gary Dull: You know it’s very interesting Dillon that we are talking about this on today’s program because I’m involved with putting together a series of messages that I will be preaching in the near future on what is needed in the church. Of course one of the things that is needed in the church today is active and aggressive evangelism because evangelism has been sort of falling by the wayside in recent years, in fact I can go back four decades to see just how it’s become less and less in a lot of churches, but getting back to this article that we’re talking about, it basically indicates that increased culture hostility to the gospel and conversations that bring peoples differences into focus make evangelism more difficult today than in previous decades.
So when you read into that, it is suggesting that fear or cultural hostility may play a major role in believing that it’s wrong to share one’s faith. Now, is that what you’re finding and if so, what is it about culture hostility that frightens the younger generation and leads them to that conclusion, that it’s wrong to witness?
Dillon B.: Well it’s interesting in the past, it just used to be if someone didn’t like what you said, or spoke about regarding your faith, they might make fun of you but that was it, but now if you say something the other person might go to social media and post something negative about you. That doesn’t just go to you or to your friends that goes to the entire world. So we are now in a culture where if someone doesn’t like you, not only do they downplay it in some way personally to you but it can be a global issue.
So the consequences are much greater in that regard but the second area is this idea of legal pressure, cultural pressure, I don’t know how many times I see each week, articles or stories that talk about legal groups are telling schools and students and teachers, other officials what they can not do regarding their faith today. So students are literally scared in many cases that if I say something, I’m going to get in trouble at school. So it’s not just the social pressure, but also a legal pressure there in this push to privatize your faith, keep it to yourself, you don’t offend anyone has become the cultural norm to such an extent that now students believe in many cases that it’s wrong to share my faith, even though that’s the thing that people need most, is relationship with Jesus Christ that can give them eternity with God.
Sam Rohrer: Dillon, really, really excellent and such right on point. I think, before I go into the last question when you talk about it used to be that if you talked to somebody and they disagreed with you, they would make fun of you perhaps in front of yourself or maybe go to a couple of friends and say something and it would be somewhat contained. I think your point of saying that now that they can post it on social media, it makes it a big peer effort where our peers the whole world. I think this peer pressure thing, which you didn’t really say, does factor into this thing as well doesn’t it?
Dillon B.: Yes it does and it just makes the consequences that much greater. You think about all the activities people do today but multiply that to anyone in the world who can see what’s going on, whether it’s good or whether it’s bad. It puts a pressure on students today that never existed in previous generations.
Sam Rohrer: Well I’m going to ask you when we get to the end, I want you to factor in a little bit about how that can be overcome but let me go just a bit further on this concept of wrong. Now, I’ve used this phrase good news become wrong news and you just talked about that, how the cultural, you said it and the legal pressure, the peer pressure as well can bring a person who is a holder of good news to the point of saying, I can’t share that good news.
Now when I see the word wrong being used, to me, I substitute it with the word sin. If something’s wrong to me in a biblical worldview, it is something that is sin. Build on a little bit if you can relative to how we’ve gotten to a place in the culture where we downplay sin generally can come to the point where something doing good, evangelizing, sharing the good news can now be associated with guilt or wrongness or sin. It’s a bizarre thing, talk about that.
Dillon B.: It really is, because we see it as a positive thing to share the gospel, but other people would see that and say, no it’s not politically correct, or it’s not socially acceptable, therefore it’s wrong, and we should not do that. So that’s the difference, it’s culturally it might be inappropriate even though biblically that’s a command. We’re told in Romans 1:16 no to be ashamed of the gospel. We need to not only know we’re supposed to do it, but it’s the best thing that we can be doing.
I think so much that, other places of the world have it far worse than we do, there are over 50 countries where sharing the gospel is prohibited or restricted and that’s over a quarter of the worlds nations and yet we’re scared to tell a friend about Jesus, that he’s the way the truth and the life. I think it really comes down to no longer having an information issue, it’s that we have a confidence issue when it comes to sharing our faith.
Sam Rohrer: That’s an interesting comment you made there as well, repeat what you just said right there, I want our listeners to hear that again, it’s not-
Dillon B.: No it’s the idea that we no longer have an information issue we have a confidence issue and by that, when I was a kid, if I didn’t know how to share Christ, I had to go ask someone and they would teach me a class or give me a booklet. Now you just say, “Siri, how do I share my faith in Jesus Christ or Alexa what do I do?” Or go to YouTube. There are many messages you can use, many ways you could find but it’s the motivation that’s missing in many cases of what if somebody says a bad thing about me? Who cares? That’s not the goal. The goal is to share the gospel regardless and see God work in the lives of others. Even if sometimes we receive ridicule or receive feedback that we don’t like.
Sam Rohrer: Gary let me go to you here right now because you’re kind of communicating back and forth with me offline. Ladies and gentlemen, when we do the program, Gary and I are in different locations, geographical locations and we talk that way. You just raised a question that you said, “You know what it’s a shame that we even have to talk about this kind of thing.” It is Gary but at the same time, we need to talk about this don’t we?
Gary Dull: Well I think we need to get back to the point of obedience. When I mean it’s a shame that we have to talk about something like this, it just shows us that we are more man centered than God centered in our faith. If we really loved God, if we really wanted to obey the word of God, if we really understood the intensity of hell, and the glory of heaven, then we would be out sharing our faith and evangelizing. I mentioned I think in the last segment or some particular point that for 40 years I’ve been watching this and I remember back in the mid-70s when I just started out the ministry, that one national group of churches said their churches were not growing because of the lack of evangelism.
That’s still the case, we talk about it, we say that evangelizing is not going on but where are we becoming more and more aggressive in that evangelism? It’s a shame that we are not. We need to be teaching evangelism, we need to be talking about evangelism and we need to be focusing on why evangelism is needed.
Sam Rohrer: Indeed we do Gary and that’s why we’re doing this program today. Ladies and gentlemen, we use research reports like we have like this because it should be a re calibrator of our thinking, of what is in fact reality. When we talk about these things here today, we’re talking about millennials and their fear of sharing but Gary said he’s noticed it for 40 years so that’s why I asked all of us who are listening, don’t think it’s just millennials, think about what you are doing.
We’re talking about Barna Research, we’re talking about some other things today relative to that and before I get back into how the view of this research, millennials and their view of good news impacting the culture, let me just suggest one thing, if you’ve not communicated to us, please do that, a letter in the mail, yes you can do that. Go to our website, easy to do that, let us know what you’re thinking. Let us know what you think about the guest, topics, or if there’s things that we haven’t covered and you’d like us to cover which some are telling us, that’s excellent, we will deal with them as we are able to do so. You can pick up all the archives of this program and if you’re not on our email list, make sure you do that. Just go to the website and just sign up, it’s easy to do so that you can be in communication with us better and we can communicate to you more easily.
Now, alright, well that being the way it is, let me go back into the flow of this program. You know, sharing good news is natural, we talked about that. If know where food is, that can help the starving, or where water can be found for those who are dying of thirst, seems natural doesn’t it? Even before the law to withhold treatment from a dying person, or failing to provide help to a person in need when you have the ability to help is not only wrong, ethically, morally, it may be prosecutable under the law.
So how and why have those who claim to have a relationship with Christ come to view that sharing that good news is somehow wrong? As we’ll learn in this next segment, see little need to use their knowledge of the good news with any attempt to shape or influence the culture around us. Now Dillon, let me go back to you here right now, you are co-host of Truth for a New Generation Radio Program, you’re a senior writer for the John Ankerberg show, which I’m sure people have watched.
So you’re involved in all of this, you’re interfacing with young people and you’re not too far outside the millennial age yourself but I want to connect something in this article here if I could with another Barna Research. Here in this article we’re saying 47% of millennials feel it’s sometimes wrong to share their faith. In an earlier Barna report I found this, it said this, “Less than a fourth, 25% of respondents said sharing the gospel is a responsibility while on the job, so less than 25% say that sharing the gospel is their responsibility, and they highlighted the general weariness of speaking explicitly about faith.”
That kind of ties into the fear thing we were talking about, but generally speaking, these same millennial Christians are the most likely group to say that it is completely important for Christians to mold their workplace culture and to serve others. When they were asked what should you reflect on the job? What are the values that should be communicated such as speaking the truth or demonstrating morality or acting in an unethical manner or whatever, they could name very few.
It caused this article today, this latest research to say this, “The data shows enormous ambivalence,” it was a quote they used. “Enormous ambivalence among millennials about sharing one’s faith among other millennials.” So my question to you, Dillon is this, is this ambivalence and sense that it is wrong to share more of a fact that perhaps it’s possible that those who are at least being asked in a survey maybe had nothing really to share in the beginning. In other words, maybe they’re not Christians to begin with. What do you think about that?
Dillon B.: Well that is possible. The Barna Group generally does a good job of defining who true believers are through their surveys. So I think there’s more of an issue than that and I think it really comes down to priorities because when you go to work for example, what is most important is what gets the most attention. You look at your goals, you set the top goal for the day and you go for it. The same has to be true spiritually as well. You must decide that personally telling someone about Jesus with your life and your voice must happen on a regular basis. I tell people the motivation is more important than method when you’re doing this.
A good example is that I have a 10 year old daughter and I recently told her to finish her homework before she did anything else. Well of course she complained and said she was tired, the work was too hard, she couldn’t do it. So I turned the question by saying, if I told you I would give you $500 to finish your homework in the next hour you would find a way to get it done. Of course she turns around and says, “Really can I have $500?” I said, “Of course not. The point is you can do it if you are motivated to do it.”
So that’s an important point but second you have to decide to share regardless of the consequences. This is where millennial Christians have a lot of concerns. I mean they are correct, they are going to likely offend someone but our goal is to share anyway. We don’t have to be offensive to share our faith. We have to go on the offense to tell how God has changed us and how God can change them. One of my favorite verses on this topic is Ephesians 4:15, it encourages us to speak the truth in love.
I think far too often we see these examples that street preachers are people out there on the fringe who are shouting and yelling and being very critical in how they communicate the gospel and giving Jesus bad PR so to speak and we don’t want to be connected with those people in any way so we do nothing instead. Well the idea that we should have is not to fall into that category of doing nothing but instead to communicate the truth in love as the apostle Paul says or as Peter talks about in 1 Peter 3:15 and 16, to share the reason for the hope within you. Which is telling the story of how Christ has changed you and can change someone else.
Gary Dull: You know I think of the passage of scripture where the apostle Paul says, “Knowing the terror of the Lord we persuade men.” I think that there is some applications to that particular verse as it relates to this matter that we’re discussing today Dillon. You know we just need to understand that we as Christians are going to give an account to God for what we do and particularly as it relates to this subject, evangelism.
You know at one point in the latest Barna Research material it says that with regard to faith sharing, 40% of millennial practicing Christians strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement that, “if someone disagrees with you, it means they are judging you.” Which is the highest by far compared to the other generations studied. Now, this sense that if someone disagrees with you, that they are judging you, is likely tied closely with the fact that as we’ve shared on this program earlier that trying to convince someone else, who doesn’t agree with you implies a wrong judging of them, and that becomes a very dangerous tract.
So Dillon can you share your thoughts about this judging and how simple evaluation and thinking perhaps has become hijacked into this culture?
Dillon B.: Well it’s very interesting you point that out because in previous generations there is this idea of having healthy room to debate all sides of an issue and coming together with some kind of agreement that would be for the common good of everyone involved. Of course we’ve seen even in politics the wide divide that has occurred over recent years where everything is politicized to one extreme or the other with very little middle ground anymore. What we’re seeing is the same thing happening in general in our society, that if you don’t agree with someone issue you’re ostracized, you’re the bad guy, you’re part of the other team and it becomes a personal attack instead of a discussion of a particular topic or debating a particular matter.
I think more than anything, in the past, this generation sees that what you say is connected with who you are. There’s not that strong divide like there was in the past of information and integrity, it’s all one and the same. So if you really want to be effective in sharing your faith with people today of the younger generation, your life has to match your message for you to have that influence into a person, in talking about matters of faith.
Sam Rohrer: Dillon I think that’s a really good point. I just was thinking of something else, you know biblically in the New Testament we know about the [Berians 00:27:11] as a group and they were highlighted and complimented because when they were hearing matters of discussion and so forth it said that Berians gathered themselves together and they discussed what they heard to determine whether or not it was true. Now in modern public education we heard this mentality of critical thinking skills, it almost seems like that critical thinking skills and comparing to determine whether something is right has been hijacked by this, as you say, this judging mentality which is totally wrong.
Dillon B.: Right and I think of myself, you know I grew up in a time before having the internet on your device everywhere you went and when I was in that position where I had access, I thought, oh what a great ministry tool or what a good work tool but now it’s so prevalent that the next generation sees the internet not for education but for entertainment. So they don’t look to it with the same mindset that we have as an older generation where this is a tool that we could use to the Lord, they see this as a way to entertain me and to fulfill me and to do things for me. As a result you’re focus in life si so much about what’s going on in the here and now rather than talking about issues of eternity.
Sam Rohrer: Well at the beginning of this program I started out by introducing the latest research about which we’ve been talking today that shows that almost half, 47% of millennials feel that it is wrong to evangelize or share their faith with others who may not agree with them, even though, even though they profess to hold and know the good news. Now that’s quite a dilemma. We’ve been talking about that today because to some degree ladies and gentlemen I would submit that we’re all a little bit of the same scenario. I said then at the beginning of the program, that while this research is critically disturbing, that there is an element of this that has application to all who may be listening to me right now. Whether you are a parent, or a grandparent, or whatever you may find of perhaps these very set of millennials or generation Z, the younger group below them that are involved in this survey.
We really have some relationship to this group that is being surveyed. In this solution segment as we wrap up the program, we’re going to discuss briefly the application and the remedy of this current anomaly. So Dillon, let me start with you first, you’ve provided a lot of very good insights as we’ve talked about this issue on the program today. So let me phrase it this way if I can, since our next generation, generations because it actually goes down below or even more so the next ones below them, they seem to know the truth, but are not living it, don’t have a sense that they need to be impacting our culture which is the discussion of the last segment.
If they know the truth, feeling guilty even about sharing it, however, I’m going to put, ladies and gentlemen, all of you listening right now who are in this category, I’m going to put you on the spot, because I’m in that same generation. Do we not, the older generation of boomers and others, do we not bear some responsibility for this, and therefore holed some part of the cure? So Dillon, I want you to speak to parents and grandparents as a group who are listening to this program today who have looked this information and said wow I can’t believe it, but then I’m going to say look in the mirror and say, hmm can you believe it? Talk to us a little bit about how perhaps we’ve contributed to this generation being of this way, and what we can do to be a part of the cure.
Dillon B.: Sure. Like in many areas of life I always encourage people to begin with prayer. That’s one thing I’m excited about in my work, Truth for a New Generation is we have a partnership with the National Day of Prayer, it happens the first Thursday in May every year but this is the first year we are serving as an official partner to encourage students to pray at their flagpole. Similar to See You At The Pole, on Thursday May 2nd before school and ask God to bring spiritual awakening to our campuses and to our country because the bible says, “Apart from God we can do nothing.” So that’s where we have to start but there’s another step that I think that all of us can apply to our lives is, second that we don’t go alone.
I think of Jesus and he sent our his followers two by two. So social pressure is a major concern. Let’s talk about our faith in the context of a group, whether it’s online or whether it’s in person, whether it’s a small group, whether it’s around a coffee table or a kitchen table, you and one Christian friend can work together to share Christ with someone far more effectively than one person can do alone. So I always encourage, don’t do it by yourself, find someone else to help but then third we have to faithfully endure.
Let’s face ti, we live in a time where everyone wants answers from Alexa or Siri in an instant. We want everything now but the journey of seeing people come to faith in Christ often takes years. A great example of this is my wife’s grandmother and I’ll share this briefly that my wife’s family came to Christ several years ago and they prayed for her grandmother for more than 20 years. Then one day at the age of 90 years old my wife had the opportunity to talk with her about heaven and pray with her to receive Christ personally.
Now this is a person who had attended church most of her life but it was only at 90 years old that she truly knew she would spend eternity with God and three years later she passed away confident she would be with Jesus. I say that because we must get past this idea that one update on Instagram or one phone call is enough to do it. God often works through you and the lives of many others over a period of years in the life of a person.
So the key is to start but know that Christ is in control of the harvest whether it’s now or 20 years in the future.
Sam Rohrer: Excellent Dillon. So good. Pray. Don’t go alone, two by two, biblical model. There is strength in being more than just yourself so if you can’t do it yourself, get somebody else, that is the model and thirdly, endure. Faithfully endure. Your witness and results that you may see, may not be seen the first time you talk with someone ladies and gentlemen, or they see you living out a biblical principle. It may be a long time, but in the case of Dillon’s grandma who they prayed for, for a long time, at 90 years of age. Now it doesn’t always happen, but it does and it can.
Gary, let me take you now in to the position of a pastor in the pulpit. The pulpit has also played a role. Dillon really talked about what parents and others generally can do to curing this sense that I should feel guilty in sharing my faith, but the pulpit has a significant role in this. Speak a little bit to pastors if you could, or Christian leaders generally about their role and their position.
Gary Dull: I will but let me say first of all, Sam and Dillon, I had the opportunity of leading my 85 year old grandmother to the Lord as well. She was brought up in the church but she was 85 before she came to Christ.
As it relates to the pulpit, I think as pastor to pastor here, as I’m speaking to many pastors, we need to keep in mind that evangelism is at the heart of the gospel, it’s at the heart of our preaching. I think that what’s happened though over the past years is that the pulpit has become too seeker friendly. We don’t want to offend people even those who are in our congregation who should be challenged to be preaching, sharing the gospel with the lost.
I remember a number of years a go a pastor who I highly respected and still do to this day, said that he does not challenge people to evangelize because he does not want to give those who do not do it a guilt trip. Now there’s a man that I highly respect. It’s not the matter of giving the people in your church a guilt trip pastors, it’s a matter of telling them what they are to do. The bible says, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” The bible says, “We are ambassadors for Jesus Christ.”
As preachers we must encourage our congregation to do it, we must lead our congregation to do it and we must set the example for our congregation to do it. Somebody once said that evangelism is more caught than taught, well I think we need to both teach it as well as exemplify it and God will take that and use it. So pastors, make evangelism, the preaching of it, the teaching of the word of God, evangelism a part of your every message, it’s so important.
Sam Rohrer: Thank you Gary. Ladies and gentlemen as we wrap up now, could I just, in helping to make this further applicable to you, you may think that you don’t have any influence ma’am or sir, wherever you may be, or you don’t know anybody or you’re not as good as talking to others as others may be, but understand that if you know the Lord as your Savior, you are in a most unique position. In fact, you are in the very best position to talk to someone who’s in your orbit. Maybe one person, maybe a thousand people.
God has you in a place where no one else is. He will give you the words to say and he will lead you in what to do if you let your light shine. If all of us do that, this nation would be turned around and that is my prayer and I hope that’s your prayer.