Recently, I had the opportunity to lead women members of my church in a discussion about having the courage to share your testimony of Christ with the world. This is a subject that is near and dear to my heart. One that I try to live every single day.
I was asked to write a title and description for my class. I had to think long and hard about this. Hmmmm…. I didn’t want to include the words “missionary work” or “sharing the gospel” in my title and description— my past experience as a missionary for my church and living as a member of the LDS church in Utah with various callings (church jobs) over the years, told me that the words “missionary work” and “sharing the gospel” would be like repellent for the average member of the church. A sure way for eyes to glaze over and brains to turn off.
So here is what I came up with…
Title: Gaining Spiritual Power and Confidence by Building the Kingdom of God
Realize who you are. You have a divine purpose in God’s plan. God needs you NOW, exactly as you are. Others need YOU so that they can figure out who THEY are. Your influence and gifts will bring others the joy that they are so desperately searching for. There is no need for you to feel inadequate or scared to do what God needs you to do. Where do you start? These small and simple acts of righteousness will help you grow in confidence and power to become who God wants you to become and do what God needs you to do to build His kingdom.
The morning of the day I was to give my presentation, I was in a hotel room with my mom who came to support me. As I sat there preparing for this discussion, I was overcome with emotion and the deepest burning in my heart. I knew without a doubt that this message that I was to give was SO important.
I would love to say that because of my elegantly worded title and description, and my deep spiritual confirmation about this message, that I had many people come to my discussion….
My class was almost a ghost town compared to the others.
I was mentally prepared to expect a smaller group gaging by past experience teaching about member missionary work— but as I looked out at the other 11 discussion tables swelling with people in this big auditorium… I felt sadness. I didn’t care about my reputation, I didn’t care that I wasn’t the most popular one. I felt sad that the message that the Lord impressed upon my heart wouldn’t carry out the way I hoped it might. Yes, there were other great discussion topics, I understand. But did no one feel a pull and desire to share Christ as I have?
In that moment, I tried to give myself a pep talk. I reminded myself that it was all about the ONE. It is ONE by ONE that Christ works.
My discussion groups went very well. The spirit bore witness to myself and those in attendance that God needs each one of us now. He needs us to share the light of Christ with the world. We cannot let fear or any other excuse get in the way. The world needs Christ now, and His light is within each of us. There are people searching to know Him right now, many of them don’t know what they are searching for… but they are SEARCHING. Hearts are being led and prepared. Each one of us needs to open our eyes to unique and innovative ways that we can be the vehicle to help bring others unto HIM. It is all about helping others to feel of His love, it is not about “missionary work” or “sharing the gospel” it is about LOVE and the peace that only He can bring.
(I will be sharing the whole discussion class material soon)
I came home discouraged and deflated. The following day I prayed to feel like I had done my part, that I wouldn’t feel like a failure. I prayed to know that I had done what God needed me to do with those in attendance. Questions continued to bother me,”Why had hardly anyone come? Did they already know everything their was to know on the subject? Were they all sharing Christ already?” Maybe. Maybe not.
That night, my husband shared this TED talk with me that actually turned out to be an unexpected answer to my prayer. “The Transformative Power of Classical Music” by Benjamin Zander. I didn’t really feel like watching it, but I sensed my husband’s enthusiasm as he said, “I think this is just the thing that will help you.” (Best husband ever, right?) — As it turned out, the last 10 minutes of his talk were just what I needed to hear. If you don’t want to listen to the whole entire TED talk, start from 15:45 to see what answered my prayer. You can read my thoughts after watching the TED talk below.
In the above video, Benjamin Zander, through a series of experiences decided that classical music is for everyone.
I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone.
He says, “How would you walk? How would you talk? How would you be?”
I heard a statistic recently, that it takes 1 in 7 introductions to the gospel of Jesus Christ for a heart to be ready to receive it.
If that is true, do we think, “If only we could move it to 1 in 5, or 1 in 2—our problems would be over…”
How would you walk, how would you talk, how would you be if you thought only 1 in 7 introductions to the church and Christ’s gospel yield fruit? How often do we think, ‘Oh, they’re not interested.’ and then move on— keeping the most precious gift that we could ever give to ourself?
How would you walk? How would you talk? How would you be if you thought, “Everybody loves the gospel of Jesus Christ! They just don’t know it yet!”
What would be different? I whole heartedly believe that! ^
Our job is to awaken a love for Christ in other people and shine our light— His light, with those around us.
So how do we know if we are doing our job?
If you look at the eyes of those around you— and their eyes are SHINING. If their eyes are shining when they are around you, then you know you’re doing your job. If their eyes are NOT shining, you can think, “Who am I being… that my family’s eyes are not shining? Who am I being that my children’s eyes are not shining? Who are we being as we go out into the world that the eyes of those around us are not shining?”
The definition of success is not about wealth and fame and power, it’s about how many shining eyes I have around me. They will be shining with Christ’s love and LIGHT.
In the end, I don’t care how many people came to my discussion. Because as I looked out to see my small little group of beautiful, righteous daughters of God, their eyes were shining and that’s all that matters. <3