In 2010 after returning from the States for my second term of service the Lord led me to become heavily involved volunteering, and today it’s my greatest form of ministry. I love volunteering because allows me to connect with the unsaved in my community, share the Gospel, and get involved in some very interesting conversations.
When an American comes to Australia the second question they ask (right after “what’s your favorite Australian sports team”) is usually “why are your here?” I actually enjoy looking people right in the eyes and telling them I’m a Baptist Minister because of the different types of responses I can receive. My favorite is when they expect me to pull a big brown family Bible (the old school fifty pound version) out of my back pocket I always assure them that would never happen…my family Bible is red.
Over time as I earn the respect of these individuals while sharing my faith they start to realize there is a genuine love or concern for them. And then they usually start asking me every religious question that comes to mind, which creates a tidal wave of opportunities to explain the Gospel.
A few months ago I started working with a group of people in Melbourne who wanted to practice their conversational English, we meet every Tuesday and have a chat about what’s going on in our lives. One of the new men yesterday asked me the standard why are you here question and I told him I came to minister and tell people about Christ.
This led to a thirty-minute conversation about the differences between Catholicism and Christianity, What happens after a person dies, whether there is a real Heaven and Hell, how you get to Heaven, and who Jesus really was. Towards the end of our discussion I was able to share how my mother led me to Lord at four years old and explain that good works will never get you into Heaven.
Recently there have been many other opportunities to explain the Gospel because people come to me with their questions. Like the Muslim girls who couldn’t understand why I didn’t wash my hands and put on a scarf before reciting a prayer from the Koran, or the young man who felt that Christianity was wrong because once Jesus cleanses your sins there are no consequences for a persons actions. Or the friend who felt that evolution was scientific fact while the creationism is only blind faith.
These conversations and many others like them showed me there is a great need for individuals who will answer the hard questions using the truths of Scripture. And if your willing to do this people will keep coming with other questions all of which give another opportunity to share the Gospel. Yes some people are just trying to confuse me but they still hear the Gospel in a clear way. There are many questions people can struggle with before accepting Christ and they need someone to help clarify what the Gospel truly means.
This may mean you don’t know the answer and have to study the subject however I have learned they respect that more than someone who ignores the question. Of course you can still use the “I am an American and don’t understand the question” excuse…but they catch on pretty quick.