I want you to imagine a scenario. You’ve just received a new pair of missionaries into your congregation, and over time you notice that every day when you pass the chapel on your way to work, they have a table set up outside and are reading scriptures all day. When you leave in the morning, they are there, and when you come home in the evening- they are still there.
Eventually, you approach them and inquire a little suspiciously, “What are you up to? How’s the missionary work going?” They respond excitedly, “It’s great! We are just out here being examples and know that eventually someone will ask us a question.”
Of course this sounds like an outrageous approach for the full-time missionaries, so why do we make it ours?
Sharing the Gospel requires more than just being an example.
Being an example is definitely a prerequisite to helping others come closer to Christ and should not be dismissed. However, it also shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all of our efforts. Just as we expect the missionaries to be proactively inviting others to come to Christ, we should do the same.
I’m willing to guess that if you are reading this, you are already giving it a good effort to be “an example of the believers” (1 Timothy 4:12). And that should definitely be celebrated! But here is where you can stretch yourself even further:
Couple your example with invitations.
Invite them to come to church.
Invite them to serve members of your faith and community.
Invite them to learn from missionaries.
Invite them to dances and parties.
Invite them to dinner.
Invite them to read applicable talks and scriptures.
Invite them to cheer you on when you give talks.
Invite them to let you practice a Sunday School lesson.
Don’t example them to “come unto Christ.”