(This post was written by Michael Wallace, High School Pastor)
I love theme parks. Really, I do. Not in the “I WILL ride every roller coaster in this park 3 times before I leave” kind of way. I’m more of a “I would like to ride 2 coasters and eat as much overpriced food/drink as possible” guy. Especially when turkey legs and frozen lemonade are involved. Please and thank you! Whichever end of the spectrum you find yourself leaning towards, there is one thing that I’m certain no one enjoys at a theme park: the yellers.
Who are the yellers? They are the boisterous, happy people employed by the park to help them bankroll on your account by encouraging you to spend your food money on carnival games. Now, I have nothing against them personally. I mean, they seem nice enough. But if you walk within 100 feet of a carnival game you are guaranteed to hear someone on a microphone daring you to climb a tight-rope (after riding a roller coaster, ha!) or shoot a free throw (on a 11.5 foot basketball goal) or toss a bucket of rings (insert funny comment) all to win a giant stuffed toy and/or impress your friends and family. After paying $50 to get into a theme park, I’m pretty sure no one enjoys walking through the gauntlet of yellers, right?
However, sometimes I feel their pain. Do you? Have you ever spent time intentionally trying to tell someone about God? Have you ever worked your tail off to share the Gospel with someone? Have you ever felt like the world is sidestepping you like a “carnival yeller” because of the veracity with which you speak of Jesus Christ? Do you ever feel like all your exhaustive efforts are ending up as white noise on the ears and hearts of those you care about who don’t know Him?
In Mark 16 Jesus told the disciples, “He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” His command to us is to share the gospel, the story of who He is and what He has done, with the whole world. Sometimes this makes me feel like an annoying “yeller” in the ears of the world. But I have learned 2 things in my 21 + years following Christ:
1. We are commanded to PREACH no matter what. Throughout the New Testament we see Peter, Paul, Stephen and others face grave danger and even death for the sake of sharing the gospel of Christ. Being annoying wouldn’t even get picked up on their radar of “persecution.” For them, and hopefully for us, it is a life and death issue.
2. The most effective way I’ve seen/heard/tried to share the gospel is NOT by yelling and screaming about the end of the world. It is simply by sharing with others the story of the gospel in my life. Letting people see who Jesus is and what He has done for me lets them see the relational side of our truly loving God. Instead of playing to their fears, open their eyes to our compassionate Father who wants nothing but reconciliation with His children.
Yellers. They can be annoying. But sharing the gospel is our command and it is our obedient response to a loving Savior. How are you sharing Jesus with those around you?