Every Christmas I sing with gusto the song “Go, Tell It on the Mountain.” This year, I’m unpacking exactly how to do it! Too often, we miss one of the greatest privileges of the season. It is easy to shuffle gospel-sharing to the bottom of the priority pile (for me, it’s often beneath gift shopping and party planning).
I am convinced one way we rediscover Christmas in our grown-up years is by adopting Christ’s broken heart for the lost. Globally or locally, there are people in our path who need the Savior. It is why He came, after all:
“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10
Here are 4 steps to help you “go tell it” on the mountain, the job-site, the classroom, wherever you go!
Step 1: Look Around
Notice people in your life who either haven’t heard the good news about Jesus (the unreached), or haven’t understood or accepted it (post-Christianity “nones”).
So many of us don’t think about sharing the gospel because we don’t notice the need for it. Take a quiet moment to truly meditate on how God loves and sees the people you do life around:
- the neighbors house to the right,
- the coworker in the office across the hall,
- the hair dresser,
- the grocery pick-up guy,
- the other parents at the school programs, etc.
Do they have eternal security by trusting Christ as Savior? Have they ever heard a clear version of the good news (not in church-language terms)? Has anyone told them as an adult: “Jesus really loves you”? (Have you noticed how much easier it is to reach kids? But remember, Jesus came to bring joy for ALL people! Adults need to hear the gospel too!!!)
Step 2: Show Up
Not seeing any lost people? Some of us (ahem, stay-at-home moms like me) truly don’t know any “lost” people. That doesn’t make Jesus’ command, and the gift of obeying it, null and void! We can follow Jesus’ command to “Go” by meeting new people. Go to the park, join a new club, introduce yourself in the grocery line.
This is especially difficult for my friend Angela. An introvert and home-body, she chose to overcome her fears and preferences and go meet new moms at the gym. She invites them to a local mom meet-up, then over to her house for playdates. By sharing her life and God-story, some of these moms have begun seeking Christ and attending church with their children!
Step 3: Be an Inviter
A mentor told me if you want to make life fun, you have to be the inviter. I think this is super-true about God’s family. I want heaven to be full of people I personally invited to be there with me, enjoying God forever!
Sadly, as evangelicals, we often cheapen the art of invitation. Our go-to method is to invite unreached or disenchanted-with-Christianity people to church.
I am the queen of inviting co-workers to the Christmas Eve service, sponsoring our kid’s friends to church camp, and rounding up the neighborhood kids for VBS every year. But studies are showing this is no longer working. If we think about it, Jesus didn’t say “go delegate the good-news-sharing to camp counselors or your pastor…” He said: Go preach the good news (Mark 16:15), and Go make disciples (Matthew 28:19).
I propose we try something new—Jesus style! Invite yourself over to someone’s home. Or gather them around your own dinner table. Practice your own salvation story and know the gospel well enough to explain it in non-churchy terms.
If this intimidates you, start with both: have neighbors over for dinner then carpool to the Christmas Eve service together. Invite your kid’s friends over to frost cookies, then drive them to Wednesday night kids church. This book is a great resource!
My friend Alice recently invited her co-worker over for Christmas games with her family. Her co-worker is open to learning about Jesus. Unfortunately, after a somewhat traumatizing experience at a certain church (not Alice’s), this guy is a little shy about experiencing a worship service again. Alice’s sensitivity astounds me. Instead of downplaying “that” church and promising him a much better experience at her own church, she moves toward greater kindness and care for his soul through hospitality. A stunning example to us all, Alice intends to invite her co-worker to her church eventually, but she want’s to share her own story about God with him first.
Step 3: Ask about what you love!
When something means a lot to us, we talk about it. But the power of sharing the gospel is in the conversation, not the speech. Ask the people in your life about their spiritual experience. Build conversational currency by listening without arguing. Then share your own journey to faith in Christ, and why He means so much to you.
My friend Abbey recently invited a friend over for coffee. As they were talking, her friend asked, “hey, can you explain to me your faith again? I know you talk about it a lot, and I am just curious why it means so much to you.”
Isn’t this the holy grail of all our gospel-sharing hopes and dreams? Abbey did share her own story, including the gritty details of her past and the miraculous details of how God saved her. Her friend was not immediately open to accepting Christ for herself, but Abbey trusts the Holy Spirit for that part, as we all should.
The moral of Abbey’s story: don’t stop talking or asking about what you love (Jesus, our Lord and Savior). Sure, you might offend someone here and there, but other’s might see you as a safe place to explore spiritual questions bottled up inside them.
4. Remember why we “Go Tell It:”
At Christmas, we need to remember WHY Jesus was born: to RESCUE the lost, hopeless, hurting, and spiritually dead. We were these things once, but we have found our Hero! Let’s introduce others to Him too!
We could miss this gift. God wants to give us the gift of His presence and His family business: to be Good-News-bringers. The angel promised the baby would be Emmanuel–God with us. Jesus himself reiterated that promise when he commissioned disciples to go tell the world about hope!
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations….and be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
Sharing the gospel creates a snowball effect of the mystery of Emmanuel: Christ is with us, we invite others to join us in experiencing him, and in doing so, we become more aware of Christ’s presence!
What a miraculous way to experience wonder this Christmas!
Join me in finding inspiration and hope in these lyrics: “The giver of life was born in the night, revealing God’s glorious plan to save the world!” (from Who Would Have Dreamed by Sovereign Grace Music)
*PS: It fascinates me that all my friends’ names start with A in these examples. No lie, these are real, “A”-mazing women with the greatest hearts I know. And I’d give them all an “A+” for their Go Tell It on the Mountain skills, though each of them would shake their heads at me and say, “it’s really all God, because I’m actually really clueless.” To which I would reply, “aren’t we all?”
What a miracle.