I Love to Tell the Story
I recently read an article by a pastor in Nebraska, and what he had to say should have, in my opinion, disqualified him from ever setting foot in a pulpit again. It was bad enough he said the Great Commission was an inadequate mission statement because making disciples did nothing to make the world a better place, but what really struck me were two key phrases about evangelism: "I have no burning desire to sell my version of faith to anyone," and, "the 'let me win you to Jesus' sense . . . kind of embarrassed us."
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the first mission of the church is to make disciples, and the first step in making disciples is to win souls to Christ. In order to do that, we have to tell other people about our faith. No one can be saved without faith in Jesus, and it is impossible to have faith in the work of the cross if you've never heard it mentioned before in your life. Paul puts it this way in Romans 10:14: "How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?"
I believe Paul would agree this sort of preaching isn't strictly limited to those in pulpits, either. All of us who bear the name Christian should be telling the gospel to everyone we meet. It's the single most important thing we can do in life, our highest priority: "For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas and then to the Twelve" (1 Cor. 15:3-5, emphasis added). And we should do so joyfully, with loving abandon -- because there is nothing better in this world or the next. Jesus is the best possible "thing" to happen to someone. That should make us happy, not embarrassed or ashamed.
Sing it with me: "I love to tell the story, / 'Twill be my theme in glory / To tell the old, old story / Of Jesus and His love."
Or, if you prefer: "This little light of mine, / I'm gonna let it shine . . . "