It Only Takes One
A friend of mine's father recently passed away. He was a professor at the Bible College we attended. Rebecca remembers him for teaching the course on the book of Romans. I remember him for his years as a missionary in the Philippines. Long before he stood in front of our class teaching us about how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news, he was living out the gospel in a far away land.
That's what it takes. Wherever there is a community of believers in the world there was someone who brought the good news. Look at Colossians 1:6 and 7
"[The gospel] which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras."
Notice the frame. "Which has come to you....learned it from Epaphras." The gospel always comes to some one by way of someone else. It's that simple. What we need to be is available. Not necessarily as missionaries around the world, but missionaries to our family, neighbors, and friends. If you are praying that God will send someone and you are standing next to them, that someone is already there. You might be nervous. You might stumble over your words. You might even be rejected, but if you don't say something then the opportunity will pass and they may never hear.
The fruit of the gospel only comes through hearing, understanding, and believing. The gospel bore fruit all over the Roman world of Epaphras' day and in his home town because he chose to speak out. We are encouraged and emboldened by the stories of the gospel's fruitfulness around the world. We are spurred on to have the same impact on the people around us. And just like the missionaries on the mountains, in the jungles, the deserts, and the cities of the world we have a responsibility to bear witness to the hope that lies within us.
Take a moment and identify two people in your area of influence. Pray for them today. Sometime in the next week ask them if they have ever considered following Jesus. Ask them if they will let you tell your story. Maybe even invite them to go see the movie Risen and talk to them about it over coffee. There are a hundred different ways to engage the people around you. The question is "will you be their Epaphras?" I'm just saying.