From the Pulpit: Effective Outreach

As Christians, we want to do our best in teaching the saving gospel message of Jesus to those who have not yet learned the truth. Because this is so, the question that needs to be answered then is, “What can we do to be most effective in reaching out to others with the truth of the gospel?”

The answer to this question is found in the words of I Peter (3:15,16). In these two verses of Scripture the apostle Peter writes, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.”

First, Peter tells us effective outreach occurs when we have the right attitude. The attitude required is seen in the phrase, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts…” If we are going to do our best in sharing God with others, we must have the attitude that God has the most special and precious place in our hearts, a place that has the most prominence.

Second, Peter explains to us that effective outreach occurs when we have the right answers. This truth is seen in Peter’s words, “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you…” Truly, it is important not only to have the right heart but also to have the right answers to people’s spiritual questions. Those answers, however, always need to be delivered in a spiritual gentleness and respect.

And third, Peter informs us effective outreach occurs when we take the right actions. In connection with this thought, Peter says in verse (16), “…having a good conscience.” It is a must in effective outreach that our actions match the message we are proclaiming. How could we possibly expect people to believe what we are saying about Christ if we are not living out in our own lives the message we are sharing with them?

If as Christians we want to put our best foot forward in reaching out to others with the saving message of Christ, then we must possess the right attitude, the right answers, and the right actions! How is your outreach to others going?