Tim Ross, the author of the book Upset the World, says that despite people’s reactions, sharing the Christian faith is critical, especially in our secular culture.
Many churches reduce relational evangelism to a weekend or monthly event and it is not working, he says.
“As believers, we are mandated by Scripture to make disciples of all nations, and we need to be evangelizing people on a daily basis for the rest of our lives. Hug people. Have conversations with people. Build relationships with them. We need to become fearless in our faith. If you cannot love people right where they are, you probably have a hard time receiving love from God yourself.”
Barna’s research study found a preponderance of Christian Millennials grapple with evangelism because they fear rejection and will be deemed judgmental by others. The only way to upset the world is to be like Jesus, however, which means showing love to everyone.
“Several years ago, a LGBTQ group called our church and said they were coming to picket and protest,” says Ross. “Everyone was on high alert that weekend. As the Sunday service was about to begin, I asked one of the security guards where protestors would be gathering. Then I asked, ‘Can we get some Danishes and coffee for them?’ The security guard seemed genuinely shocked. I explained, ‘The best way to break down this wall of hostility is to show them how much we love them.’ Love was Jesus’ motivation to upset the world, and it should be ours as well. Only love can burst the mindset of hate.”
Christians have to remember where our allegiance lies; he shares. We are in this world, but not of this world. We have dual citizenship.
“I am a citizen of America, but I am also a citizen of heaven and I identify myself primarily as a citizen of heaven first and foremost. In order to break down more barriers with those around us, the Church needs to be doing good works and we need to be praying for boldness to do so. Love was Jesus’ motivation to upset the world and it should be ours as well.”
Tim Ross is the lead pastor of the multi-ethnic, multi-generational Embassy City Church in Irving, Texas. He has served in ministry for more than 24 years and is a sought-after speaker both nationally and internationally. Tim and his wife, Juliette, have been married for more than 20 years and have two sons, Nathan and Noah.
-By Corine Gatti-Santillo