Reaching the Lost Isn't Just for the Pastor

Sandra Cobb

Contributing Writer
Published Feb 08, 2024
Reaching the Lost Isn't Just for the Pastor

What I love about sharing what difference Christ has made in my life is that it cannot be argued. It is my experience, so it is my testimony.

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen." Matthew 28:18-19 

As a member of the Christian church, we have heard teachings about the above verse, which is believed to be our Great Commission and assignment. For the Great Commission to be achieved, the gospel message must be shared as instructed in Mark 16:15-16 (KJV): “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” 

Preach the gospel? That is the pastor’s job, right? Understanding what is meant by the gospel gives us insight that this is not a responsibility restricted to the pastor only. Professor C. Clinton Black in Bible Odyssey defines the meaning of the gospel: 

“The good news” (or “gospel” = “good spiel”) is a literal translation of the Greek word euangelion. New Testament authors use this term to mean the news of salvation, or liberation from sin, brokenness, and estrangement from God. The Apostle Paul further expounds on what  the gospel message about salvation involves when he writes 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (KJV): 'For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our  sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.'"

A Call for All Believers

The Great Commission calls for all believers to reach the lost with the good news. 

Luke 19:10 (NKJV) says, “For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.” The lost refers to people who have not found their way to a relationship with God. Many do not know the way to God, so the Bible gives the answer in John 14:6. Jesus is speaking and says,  “…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” 

There are several reasons given for why people don't share the gospel or witness about Jesus Christ. Here are a few: 

Fear of rejection 

When someone rejects the message we are sharing about Jesus, we feel like they are rejecting us personally.

Uncertain of what to say 

We do not feel equipped and are not clear on exactly what we should say to persuade people to believe in Jesus. 

Believes it's solely the pastor’s job 

We are comfortable inviting people to the church, but we believe it’s just the pastor’s job to share the gospel with them when they get there. 

Have any of the above been the reason you haven't shared your faith with others? Again, the Great Commission Jesus gives in Matthew 28:19-20 is to all Christian believers.  

We are not called to invite people to church; we are called to be witnesses for Christ to lead others to Him. You do not have to make a special presentation or stand on the street corner with your Bible and horn. Pray and look for opportunities as you go through your normal day with people you may already know. Just make it a conversation. I offer you the following seven suggestions to inspire you to be a witness for Christ in your daily living. Pray to God and ask for His direction as you engage in each activity. 

1. Reflect Christ in Your Daily Activities

Your witness for Christ begins with your actions instead of your words. The spiritual truths that you have learned from the Bible are to be lived out in front of your neighbors, co-workers, family members, and others. Our faith walk with God ought to be reflective of His image and His personality. Show up with genuine love even for those who do not show love to you (Luke 6:35). On your job, do your work the best you can as unto the Lord (Colossians 3:23). In your relationships, treat people the way you want to be treated (Luke 6:31). 

Your lifestyle draws people to want the relationship that you have with God because of how you live before them. 

2. Share Your Testimony About Jesus

A witness is expected to tell the truth that he/she knows from personal experience. One of my favorite television shows is Law and Order. To bring about justice, lawyers call witnesses to the stand. Their eyewitness testimony of what they have heard and seen for themselves determines if they are a reliable witness. Tell others what you know from firsthand experience to be true about your Savior. For example, if you know that He loves you, tell that. If you know that He is concerned about you, let others know that He is a Savior who cares about them. If you know that God answers your prayers, share that truth. 

3. Share the Difference Christ Has Made in Your Life

Fear of rejection is often a reason given for not being a witness. What I love about sharing what difference Christ has made in my life is that it cannot be argued. It is my experience, so it is my testimony. This is also true for you. Be willing to share with others a sample of how you used to be before you received Christ as your Savior, and how your life is different now.

4. Share Why They Need a Savior

Be sure to share that no person can work their way into heaven. We cannot be perfect enough to earn our way back into a relationship with God. Every person comes short of God’s perfect standard (Romans 3:23), which is why Jesus needed to die for us. Jesus died to rescue us from sin and the penalty of sin, which is permanent separation from God. 

5. Share How They Can Receive Jesus as Their Savior

Continue to share your testimony of how to receive Christ as your Savior. Romans 10:9-10 is your support: 

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that  God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth  unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” 

"Confess" means to speak the truth. Here is the truth about Jesus that they need to believe and  speak: 

-Jesus is the Son of God (John 1:1).

-Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for their sin and rescue them (John 3:16). 

-God raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 10:9).

Ask them if they believe these truths and have them repeat these truths. If they believe these truths in their hearts and admit them with their own mouths, they, too, can be saved and have a relationship with Jesus Christ (Romans 10:10). 

6. Reinforce That Salvation Is Solely through the Cross (Acts 16:31)

This is faith, and it means that you trust only in the sacrificial death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ to get into heaven. Being a nice person and doing good deeds is not enough; only Jesus’ work is enough. 

7. Now, Encourage Them to Attend Church with You

Attending a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church will help them grow and become a disciple (a follower) of Christ. 

Reaching the lost for Christ is not only the pastor’s job, but it is every believer's job. Witnessing for Christ is part of what we signed up for, and we have what we need to complete the assignment. All believers have a responsibility to share their faith with the lost so they can find salvation in Jesus. The above seven strategies are already within your power to do. Be a witness for Jesus in your everyday life.

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/4maksym

Sandra Cobb is a grateful mother of three amazing children and grandmother of nine precious grandbabies. She is a certified Forgiveness Coach, speaker, and author of "Free to Forgive." She is passionate about sharing the love of God and testimonies of how faithful He is!