When I was seven, my parents put me on a bus with sixth through twelfth graders on their way to Arizona on a mission trip. We had just moved from Phoenix, so I was catching a ride so I could meet up with some family friends and spend some time back in Arizona. The bus stopped as the youthful crowd was getting restless to grab some snacks. The minister handed us all a tract (a small Gospel booklet) and said, “Don’t get back on this bus until you do some soul-winning.”
I didn’t know at the time that he likely wasn’t talking to me, so I took the tract and after I got my snack I walked across the street to a park where a drunk was hanging out. I asked if I could read the tract to him and he didn’t object. I got to the end and asked if he wanted to pray the prayer of salvation to receive Jesus as his Savior, and he did. We got back on the bus and the minister asked us to raise our hands if we shared Jesus, so I raised mine.
I don’t know what happened to that man, and I don’t know how genuine his profession was but I do know in simple faith I just did what I was asked—I shared Jesus.
Today, the theologians are whining and wrangling over God’s sovereignty—a cyclical argument that is never won or lost. I’m glad I didn’t know about election when I was seven and I’m glad I wasn’t asked to just “live” Jesus and the Spirit will draw people to Him. I’m glad I was told: “Go, make disciples. Proclaim the Good News and give people an opportunity to ask Jesus to be their Savior.”
God is sovereign—so sovereign that He lets me have a crucial role in His Kingdom. My involvement doesn’t threaten His sovereignty at all, and the fact that He has entrusted His Kingdom to me and you is amazing. I know it’s not popular to walk up to someone and ask if you can walk through a tract with them but I do know it’s better than nothing.
Good intentions and a life of almost conversations about Jesus never replace the clear presentation of Jesus. Lots of people talk about God’s sovereignty; but simple faith lived out is more powerful than heady concepts that provide an excuse for our fear. Most Christ-followers will never lead another to faith in Jesus and yet the command to His followers is: “go and make disciples.” Who are we following if we aren’t following the one command he’s given us?
Simple childlike faith just gets off the bus and reads the tract. The rest is the complexity of adults, contextualized theology, and correct cultural pursuits devoid of God. I know in my own life it’s time to get off the bus.