A 5 Minute Test

Screen shot 2013-03-12 at 3.20.58 PMThe topic of sharing about the Gospel invariably leads to questions about what that message in fact is.  I have often wondered what the bare essentials of the Good News which we have been entrusted to share are.  What do we say when we share the Gospel?  Last week, I argued that sharing the Gospel does indeed mean speaking.  But what exactly is it that we are to say?

I study theology and the Scriptures a lot (one of the perks of the job!).  I am always impressed at how expansive the Gospel Story is.  The message runs through the entire Bible.  It implications are personal, cosmic, social, and so on.  It contains the greatest and most beautiful truths ever to be made known to the world.  But we still have to tell people in simple ways.  What would we communicate if we only had a few minutes?

Well, what would you say if you only had five minutes to share the Gospel?*  

Imagine you’re on a bus and an opening to ‘share the Lord’ comes up.  Imagine you’re sharing a pint with a friend and an opportunity to tell them Good News presents itself.  Imagine you’re at someone’s side while they’re on their death bed and you feel you must say something.  What would you say?  You’ve got five minutes…

I find this simple test always helps me reorient myself and gets rid of my tendency to over complicate.  It also is good practice for when I do speak to people.  Given the chance, how would you tell the Gospel in five minutes?*

*  Big Caveat – I know that this exercise is somewhat artificial and silly!  I know full well that everything about the Gospel can’t be communicated in five minutes.  I also know that implications of the Gospel can/must be lived out.  Moreover, the product of the Gospel is the visible  Church community and her love and that must be shown not talked about.  But…the test is still useful so stop delaying and try to answer for yourself.

Better yet, share it with someone who needs to hear!

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2 thoughts on “A 5 Minute Test

  1. 5 minutes seems like a lot of time to do that, haha. but i always like to start in the old testament and creation, and give a brief overview of the redemptive history of the old testament and how that culminates with the birth of christ. i briefly drill down and tie the life of christ as a historical fact, and then talk about how we are children of wrath who consider ourselves good people compared to others, but once we start to compare ourselves to God and introspectively examine our own lives, that we need a savior. talk about repentance and faith, grace alone, by faith alone, in christ’s work alone, and how good god was that he gave us faith and saved us. rinse, wash. repeat 😛

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      I guess five minutes is a short time for me because I might be a little long winded. Haha. I never like to have it pinned down like a formula though. I really try to live by Francis Schaeffer’s advice. He said if he had an hour with someone he would ask questions and listen for 55 minutes and then share the Gospel for 5. I like dialoguing and it helps to address the Gospel personally to someone. It also keeps us from having it be canned.

      If you start with creation and fly over the OT and all that in less than five than you must be a fast talker. Just kidding. I think it’s great you try to engage with the whole story. Blessings!

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