Sharing the gospel with friends and family at Christmas | Rico Tice
We caught up with Rico Tice about evangelism at Christmas and some advice on how to share the gospel message with our loved ones.
What's different about Christmas this year?
If this year has taught us anything, it is that life is unpredictable. When the whole world has been changing and our control over things has slowly slipped further and further out of our hands, lots of people have realised the fragility and uncontrollable nature of life. But Christians can rejoice in the knowledge that we have a God who is never-changing.
Christmas is a time of relaxing from work, a time to celebrate each other through gifts and time but this year with all the restrictions people feel slightly disheartened that they cannot celebrate in the ways that are so familiar to them.
Your four top tips for personal evangelism are to Celebrate, Serve, Tell and Exit. How can we Celebrate people well this Christmas?
People are made in God’s image, it is important to celebrate them. Genesis 1:27 tells us that “God created mankind in his own image.” One way to celebrate people is by creating conversations through questions, “what are you enjoying at the moment?” We want people to know that we care about them by taking interest in them. God has placed each one of us in our personal communities, it is a divine appointment that you are with your family or your friends this Christmas. Let this knowledge of the sovereignty of God fuel you in your confidence to speak the true message of Christmas this year.
How important is it to be servant-hearted this Christmas?
Something that is evident from COVID-19, is that our culture has transitioned from hostility to people reaching out and even creating area Whatsapp groups so that they can help and support one another. We have got huge opportunities to show generosity to our communities because it is now accepted. Little things are very symbolic, remembering somebody’s birthday, bothering to ask about the brother who's been made redundant due to the pandemic, even sending Christmas cards to people you perhaps might not normally send them to. Don’t underestimate the tiny gestures. We are told in Mark 10:45 Jesus came "not to be served but to serve." Is not the yearly celebration of Jesus coming to earth for this very reason, one of the greatest opportunities to imitate that?
How can we speak about Jesus with people?
It is still culturally acceptable to say ‘do you celebrate Christmas?’ but we can even go one step further to ask, ‘would you celebrate with me?’ Go round and stand on the step and have a drink, post something encouraging through the door and tell them about the gospel, tell them why you celebrate Christmas!
Try to prayerfully develop a pain line question for all your relatives and friends which will be individual for them, for example for a neighbour whose back isn't getting better we might say to her, ‘what happens if it never gets better?’ Our aim is to get people from thinking that the environment will affect their happiness, to knowing that Christian faith is all about Christian joy, which is much more sustainable.
“The fear of God liberates you from the fear of man.”
What if people don’t want to listen?
In Matthew 10:14, Jesus says, “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.” If they go quiet, go back to celebrating and serving. If they ask a question, answer them but if they go quiet don’t hassle them.
One thing that will sustain you in your evangelism is remembering that your identity is in Christ, whether the people you are sharing with accept or reject you does not alter your value, your value comes from the fact that Christ died for you. The fear of God liberates you from the fear of man.
For more ideas on how to do evangelism this Christmas, watch an interview with our Training Director, Craig Dyer and four church leaders, here: Christmas 2020 | Evangelism in Lockdown