Sunday, May 12

Sharing God’s Hope: Elevator

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. [1 Peter 3:15]

In a recent adult Sunday school class, Tim Musslewhite asked us: if we only had the duration of an elevator ride, how would we share the gospel?

Most of us have probably been taught to start somewhere in the “For all have sinned …” neighborhood. Our message of hope is one of forgiveness and an eternity in Heaven. But as we navigate an increasingly secular society, I wonder how often we end up simply talking past our intended audience when we use this as our starting point. What does sin even mean in a “live your truth” culture?

Perhaps it’s time to rethink our elevator pitch.

The apostle Paul in Acts 17 set an example for us when he began his message to a gathered crowd in Athens with, “I see that in every way you are very religious.” And then the man who wrote “For all have sinned” proceeded to share the gospel without mentioning sin once! I suspect Paul knew his audience well enough to recognize that his common ground wouldn’t be found in the subject of sin, so he found his common ground elsewhere.

Are we willing to do the same when we are asked to give the reason for our hope? What might we discover about our faith if we try?

I wonder if we’ll find that God’s good news is so much bigger and better than what we’ve been pitching.

QUESTION: Read Acts 17:22-31. What is the hope that Paul wanted to share with the Athenians?

Lacey Sharpe