Back in 2003, during my freshman year at The University of Texas at Austin, I had the opportunity to attend the Urbana Conference in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a conference held every 3 years for college students that focuses a lot on missions and reaching people.
The year I went, about 20,000 students gathered together for about 4 days to attend seminars, listen to speakers, worship and pray together. Being 17 and new to America, it was fresh, exciting and eye-opening. I had never seen so many college students brought together for the same vision, and it excited me to see that God was moving among my generation.
The Weighing Scale
One of the biggest things that impacted me during that conference was from a lady who spoke at one of the evening sessions. Her talk focused on reaching those around us, and she gave what is perhaps one of the greatest analogies for why we should always be willing to share the gospel, regardless of whether that person makes a decision for Christ or not.
She shared that statistically, the average person needs to hear the gospel 7 times before making a decision for Christ. “Imagine,” she said, “if every person is a weighing scale. 7 stones and you’ll get it to tip… but who’s going to add those stones? Will you?”
Sharing is success
Sometimes I find that as Christians, we can get caught up in this notion that if we are not “winning people to Christ” then we are failing. We get caught up in measuring numbers, assuming that we need to have stories of leading hundreds of people to Christ. Then when we can’t measure up, we assume that we can’t do it, we’re not called to it, and we give up. But is that really the case? I’m not so sure.
Mark 16:15 says “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” I don’t know about you, but when I read this, I don’t see Jesus saying anything about converting the masses. His message is simple: Share the news! Tell the world about this! So is success really about the numbers? Or is it simply being willing to share with our friends and family about Jesus?
You have a part to play
One day, and I pray it happens soon for you, you’ll get to be that seventh stone in a person’s life and experience the joy in being able to see someone come into a relationship with Jesus for the very first time.
My encouragement to you is that while we all strive for that moment, to remember that just because you don’t see that every time you share the gospel, it doesn’t mean you didn’t do anything. You never know which stone you might be, but if you don’t try, then you miss out on the opportunity to add to someone’s scale, and bring them that much closer to God.