coronavirus

A Telephone and a Testimony: Sharing the Gospel During COVID-19

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By Cody Beasley

Much has changed since the outbreak of COVID-19. At its peak, as many as 3 out 4 Americans have lived under stay-at-home orders.[1] Though these orders are beginning to lift now, this means that many people have had to work from home, restaurants had closed their dining rooms, and grocery shelves were empty.

But one thing that hasn’t changed is our responsibility as Christians to influence and engage culture in the most fundamental way: by obeying the Great Commission. Have you thought about how you can do that even during quarantine? It might come as a surprise, but 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 gives us a template for how to share the gospel during the Coronavirus pandemic. All you need is a telephone and a testimony.

For they themselves report what kind of reception we had from you: how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath. (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 CSB)

There was a distinct pattern in the Thessalonians’ conversion: they turned to God, from idols, for a purpose. Although we might not be abandoning the worship of idol statues, our conversion story is the same. When we became believers, we turned away from our old way of life, to the one true and living God, for the purpose of serving Him forever. This simple pattern not only explains the Thessalonians’ testimony, but also ours. And as it turns out, it’s an easy way we can share our story with others.

When we became believers, we turned away from our old way of life, to the one true and living God, for the purpose of serving Him forever.

Here are three simple steps to write your own testimony:[2]

1. Tell them about what you turned from — who you were before Jesus.

Before Christ, we were all different people. We were enslaved to sin, serving only ourselves (Eph. 2:1-3). What are a few words that describe your old life? Confused? Angry? Addicted?

Now, write those words down in a sentence or two, and introduce it with something simple and relatable, like “Before I knew Jesus, I was…” or, “There I was a time in my life when…” or even, “I used to be…” Here’s the beginning of my testimony:

I used to be anxious all the time, about everything. And it’s because I wanted to be in control. I didn’t trust anyone else to take care of me or my family.

Can you tell what words describe my life back then? Anxious and controlling. Like I’ve done, feel free to add words and make it flow. After all, this is no formula…this is the true story of how your life was changed by Jesus.

2. Tell them about how you turned to God — how you came to know Jesus.

Jesus is the only one who gives salvation (Acts 4:12). If you’re a true Christian, it means that you’ve met Jesus! Was it through a friend or family member telling you about him? Was it through a sermon or an evangelism track? Write down a few words to describe that experience.

Here’s mine:

Thankfully, my parents told me about Jesus, and I kept learning more about Him through reading the Bible. I came to believe for myself that Jesus is the only One who can make us right with God. He is the only source of safety and forgiveness, and I’ve trusted Him to save me.

The important words that describe when I met Jesus are parents, the Bible, believe for myself, only one, safety and forgiveness, and save. What are yours?

3. Tell them about your purpose — who you are now.

How is your life different now that you’re a follower of Jesus? Think of a few words, and write them down. You might think back to the words you used to describe your life before Jesus. What are the opposite of those words? Here’s an example of mine:

Now, I understand God’s purpose for my life. I have peace instead of anxiety. Giving up control of my life to Jesus is the best decision I’ve ever made. I am filled with hope because I know that when Jesus comes back, it will be the beginning of eternal life with Him.

To put all that together, here’s the story of how I came to follow Jesus, modeled after the Thessalonians’ own testimony:

I used to be anxious all the time, about everything. And it’s because I wanted to be in control. I didn’t trust anyone else to take care of me or my family. Thankfully, my parents told me about Jesus, and I kept learning more about Him through reading the Bible. I came to believe for myself that Jesus is the only One who can make us right with God. He is the only source of safety and forgiveness, and I’ve trusted Him to save me. Now, I understand God’s purpose for my life. I have peace instead of anxiety. Giving up control of my life to Jesus is the best decision I’ve ever made. I am filled with hope because I know that when Jesus comes back, it will be the beginning of eternal life with Him.

Have you been praying for a lost friend or family member? Why not pick up the phone and give them a call. If the Spirit leads you, you could begin the conversation with, “I’ve just been thinking about my life and I wanted to share this with you.” This is a simple yet profound way to engage the culture around you and, most importantly, share the good news of Jesus.

I pray that we all take steps of obedience to Jesus, even during the midst of difficult times like this. As we do, I trust that He will give the growth and that the gospel will explode from our community into the surrounding cities and states, and even into the world.

After all, the gospel is the Lord’s. And He will see that it spreads.

Editor’s Note: To learn more about the Great Commission, visit our sister site, The Center for Great Commission Studies. A version of this article originally published at Cedar Rock First Baptist Church.

[1] https://www.foxnews.com/us/coronavirus-us-lockdown-stay-at-home-restriction-states-viral-outbreak.

[2] These steps come largely from the “15-second testimony” tool. To learn more, see https://globalfrontiermissions.org/church-planting/four-fields-training/15-second-testimony/.

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Cody Beasley

Cody and his wife Aly live in Wake Forest, NC, and attend Cedar Rock First Baptist Church. He graduated from the College at Southeastern in 2019 and is currently pursuing an MA in Biblical Languages at Southeastern Seminary.

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