Beating the bad news of the pandemic with the good news of the gospel

September 8, 2020

Evangelism is sharing the good news of the gospel. Good news sounds a lot better when you’re acutely aware of the bad news. COVID-19 is evaporating a lot of fragile happiness with a seemingly endless stream of bad news. So far, 2020 seems to be one bad news event after another. But all this bad news creates a hunger and thirst for good news.

Here are eight simple ways you can beat the bad news of the pandemic with the good news of the gospel.

Pray when you walk your neighborhood.
Pray for openness. Pray for divine appointments. Pray that God will show you where He’s at work. You’ll discover where God’s at work as you listen to those you meet.

Really listen for their deeper needs.
Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) lists three foundational needs that are met by the gospel. First, there is peace, which is the absence of anxiety, both personal and social. The pandemic is straining relationships in the home, in the church and among friends. Second, there is prosperity, which is stability. COVID-19 has destabilized jobs, schools, politics and race relations. Third, there is purpose, which is the desire to matter. The pandemic creates unique opportunities to serve.

As you talk with people, listen for conversational clues that express a desire for these deeper longings, and share how the gospel addresses those needs.

Pray with others.
Many are willing for you to pray with them on the spot. Just ask politely.

So far, 2020 seems to be one bad news event after another. But all this bad news creates a hunger and thirst for good news.

Share your personal story.
Share ways in which your relationship with Christ brings peace, stability and purpose. Don’t underestimate the ability of the Holy Spirit to use your story.

Avoid shallow connections.
A recent article by The Gospel Coalition identified five Christian clichés that need to die. Clichés hold meaning for the believer but sound trivial to the lost. Seemingly shallow answers to deep needs may be catchy for Christians, but they’re offensive to the lost.

Serve others.
Many people need help. Some are isolated and lonely. Others are worried about jobs and health. Still others are rocked by racial tension. All feel destabilized. Serving helps stabilize those who are struggling. Want to serve? N.C. Baptists on Mission provides a number of opportunities to serve.

Serve together.
A friend had been trying to meet his neighbors for several years with little success. He and his wife announced to their neighbors the need to provide a meal for a local women’s shelter, and 18 families responded. Serving together provided multiple opportunities for their neighbors to hear the good news.

Minister online.
Help develop a social media ministry for your online service. Those visiting virtually need connection, prayer and the good news.

Don’t forget the heart of the good news. Jesus came to fix this broken world. He starts by repairing our broken relationship with God. He’s paid the price for our rebellion and offers us the free gift of abundant and eternal life. We receive this gift when we turn from our rebellion against God and acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

This is the best of news in the worst of times.

 by Cris Alley  /  Strategic Focus Team  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

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