Yesterday I was listening to a certain radio show where the host interviewed students at a college campus. Approaching the students, the host asked their areas of study, and finding that one student was planning on entering ministry, the host asked the student to witness to him in 30 seconds. After pleading for more time to build a relationship, the student finally began to explain to the host that he needed to fill his life with the unshakeable love of God in order to truly live. The host then explained that he felt plenty of love from his wife, kids, and dog, and didn’t feel the need for any more love. The student kept trying to explain why the host needed to experience this love, but he wasn’t able to answer the question “Why do I need God when I already feel plenty of love? I don’t feel like there’s anything missing in my life.”

This is a common approach (one I’m guilty of using) to witnessing that fails to bring to focus the reason we NEED God: that we were born sinful and cannot escape that sin nature no matter how hard we try (or what we do). Our perfect God abhors sin, and thus we are separated from him, with our only hope being through our acceptance of his scape-goat sacrifice of his own perfect son (the only worthy sacrifice) on our behalf so that we might experience a relationship with him.

Beginning with the “God shaped hole” approach does such a disservice to those who don’t know God. They are let down by feel-good answers like “You need to let God fill up your life” and “I just felt so different and wonderful when I gave my life to Jesus”. Laying the gospel down flat-out, and including the “S” word isn’t always the most popular or trendy way to spread the news about humanity’s need for Jesus, but it’s the approach that will stand the test of time.

Now I just need to remember to take my own advice from my internet soap box to the real world 😉