Ever get discouraged because your church branch or mission is so small? Just the same few people at the meetings. How could it ever grow? Who would want to join a church with so few people?
If you think it’s difficult to grow from a small number, then think about the challenge that faced John the Baptist immediately after he baptized Jesus. Not counting John himself, the number of people who believed in Jesus at that time was exactly zero.
So, how does John begin to spread the gospel? He picks out two of his friends (Andrew and Philip) and says, “Let me introduce you to Jesus.” The two men spend a day with Jesus, which results in both of them being convinced that Jesus is the Messiah. So, the number of believers has immediately grown by two (John 1:35-40,44).
Andrew then reaches out to his brother, Simon Peter, saying, “We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus” (John 1:41-42). The number of believers has grown by three.
Philip finds his friend Nathanael and tells him, “We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph” (John 1:45). The number of believers has grown by four.
See how easy this is?
Wait a minute, wait a minute. These men had a huge advantage, right? Jesus was right there with them. They knew Him. They were able to introduce others to Him. He was able to speak for Himself such that people were convinced. If we had this same arrangement, we would be able to spread the gospel too, wouldn’t we? Well, is our arrangement really that different today?
Do we know Jesus? Is He with us?
For each of us, there was a time when we didn’t know Jesus. But then we met Him, got to know Him, grew to love Him, and finally gave our lives to Him in the waters of baptism. So, we do know Jesus. He’s the one who gave His life for us and the one who will advocate for us on judgment day. And after we were baptized, we received the Holy Ghost, the Comforter that Jesus sent to take His place within His followers. So, Jesus is with us constantly.
Even though Jesus is not physically on the earth at this time, He is still here — within each of His followers.
Are we able to introduce others to Jesus?
The most effective way to introduce someone to Jesus is to have them get to know you — as long as you are living a life that exhibits the light of Christ. If you are, then the way that you live your life — the love you show to others and the visible ways that God blesses your life — will comprise a very attractive package. Let others see how a person lives when they know the Lord, and you have effectively introduced them to Jesus.
It’s also helpful to know enough about the scriptures (as Andrew and Philip did in the verses referenced above) to be able to explain why you believe the way you do. However, even if you feel challenged to be able to speak about the scriptures, you can always invite people to “Come and see” (John 1:46) and let the ministry and other church members share in introducing someone to Jesus.
Is Jesus able to speak for Himself?
On the one hand, it could be said that when the Holy Ghost teaches you what to say (Luke 12:12, John 14:26), then your words represent Jesus speaking for Himself.
However, the most powerful way that the Lord speaks for Himself is through the miracles and answered prayers that we experience. Be quick to share these with others so they will see what the Lord can do. Offer to pray for someone’s individual situation and, when the Lord answers the prayer, make sure the person understands what has happened. This is how Jesus can speak for Himself to those who don’t know Him.
When Nathanael was introduced to Jesus, the Lord told him, “Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man” (John 1:51). It’s a pretty bold statement — we can be just as bold when we show confidence that prayer can make a difference in someone’s situation.
So, let’s not feel sorry for ourselves if our church is small. Rather, let’s make sure that we know Jesus, that we are capable of introducing others to Him through the way we live our lives, and that we have the faith and confidence that the Lord can speak for Himself. If this describes you, then go ahead and pick out someone you know who needs the Lord in their life and say, “Let me introduce you to Jesus.”
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.