Holidays provide opportunities for gospel conversations

by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSCNC Executive Director-Treasurer

Friday, November 17, 2017

Thanksgiving is upon us, and Christmas is right around the corner. The holiday season provides excellent opportunities for Christ-followers to pause and reflect upon God’s goodness, kindness, mercy and grace that He lavishes upon us. The holidays often give us occasions to spend time with family and friends we do not see often. During these times, we are reminded just how much these individuals have enriched our lives.

As you gather with your family and friends around the Thanksgiving table or by the Christmas tree, there is a strong chance there will be someone at your gathering who does not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Let me encourage you to be intentional about looking for opportunities you may have during this time to have gospel conversations with particular family and friends who may not know Christ as Savior. You can begin by telling them what Christ has done for you, and then ask if they would like to know with certainty that He has forgiven their sin and given them the gift of eternal life.

The North American Mission Board is promoting a new emphasis among Southern Baptists called the “GC Challenge.” “GC” is short for “Gospel Conversations,” and the challenge is for churches and their members from all across the country to pledge to have a total of 1 million gospel conversations by June 2018. You can learn more about the initiative by visiting the GC Challenge website at gcchallenge.com.

Utilizing this website, your church can make a pledge toward the goal of 1 million gospel conversations. The site also includes several free resources related to prayer and evangelism. You can also watch brief testimonial videos from pastors, church members and denominational leaders who shared their most recent opportunity to engage someone in a gospel conversation. You can even upload your own 60-second video of your most recent gospel conversation to the “GC:60” section of the site as a way to encourage others.

When you have a gospel conversation with someone, you may discover that the individual you are speaking with already knows Christ, while there are many others have not yet accepted Him as their Savior. I find that when I have gospel conversations, some individuals are ready to place their trust in Christ at that moment, while many others are not.

While we are responsible for sharing the message and calling for a decision, remember that God is responsible for the outcome. When we share the gospel with an individual in the power of the Holy Spirit — even if they refuse to trust in Christ at that time — we have had a successful witnessing encounter because we have obeyed Christ. It may be that another Christ-follower will get to lead that same individual to accept Christ later because of the seed you sowed.

I encourage North Carolina Baptists to participate in the GC Challenge. I hope many churches in our state will use the designated website to make a pledge toward the GC Challenge goal. Sharing the gospel is the first step in the disciple-making process, and the holidays represent a wonderful opportunity to turn everyday conversations into gospel conversations with individuals we want to spend eternity with in heaven.

“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.” — 1 Corinthians 3:6