Are you seeking to reach your friends, neighbors, classmates or teammates for Christ? Then drop the "J bomb" sooner rather than later. Don't wait for days, weeks, months or years. Drop it early and often.
What's the J bomb? It's the explosive, transformative and catalytic Name of Jesus! This Name above all names creates controversy and conversation which can lead to salvation and transformation.
But all too often all too many churches subtly imply that a life well lived is enough. They imply that if you're a good neighbor, co-worker, student or friend then, at some point, others will ask what makes you so different. It's only at this point you have "earned the right to be heard" according to this not-so-Acts-like philosophy of outreach.
And, if we're honest, this brand of wordless evangelism appeals to our tendencies to lean away from the awkward.
We've all heard the phrase attributed (some say falsely) to St. Francis of Assisi, "Preach the gospel. If necessary use words." For many this bumper-sticker quote has become a get-out-of-jail free card for actually having to declare the good news verbally.
But aren't you glad Jesus didn't do this in his earthly ministry? Yes, he lived a life that was amazing, intriguing, godly and good. But he didn't just mime his teachings. He verbally taught them. He declared the good news with his lips and his life!
We are called to do the same.
I am convinced that the longer we wait to drop the J bomb in a relationship the harder it is to drop it later. If you've known somebody for months or years and they still don't know you're a Christian and then, one day, you bring it up out of the blue, it will see really unnatural. It will look like you've been hiding something from them (which you have been!)
But if talking about Jesus is part of the ebb and flow of your everyday conversation, then turning that dialogue toward the gospel will be way more natural. You won't be grinding gears as you shift the conversation toward Christ.
Drop the J bomb early in your relationships and conversations. You don't have to share the gospel with somebody the first time you meet them but, at the very least, let them know in some small way that you are a follower of Christ. Then let your godly, humble and loving life back up your words. Identifying yourself with Jesus verbally and visually will prepare the way for authentic, effective and, potentially, soul saving conversations with those in your sphere of influence.
Drop the J bomb. Pull the pin, throw the bomb and duck...then watch what God does as a result.
Boom there it is!