When I wear a shirt with my business logo on the pocket, I represent my evangelism training business.
I see eyes of people glance at my shirt pocket when I introduce myself to them, or when they sit next to me on a plane or in a mall food court.
Their observation often leads to a “what do I do?” type conversation where I present the solutions I bring to helping churches and people be more effective in sharing their faith.
When I wear a shirt that says “Vida Joven Panama” or “Young Life Nicaragua,” I am an unofficial representative of that organization.
People ask me what do I do for Young Life and what is my role?
I get to explain the mission of Young Life and how I am not staff, but an invited teacher who provides training for their ministry leaders from all over Latin America.
When I wear any kind of Christian clothing or t-shirt, I will be quickly associated with Christ and his church.
Sometimes people will ask me about my faith, but not as often as they start conversations about an EvangelismCoach.org shirt or a Young Life shirt.
The shirt links me with the organization.
I get to be an ambassador for the organization who’s logo is on my shirt.
Some recent travel experiences have prompted me to evaluate my own life as an ambassador for Christ. Allow these devotional thoughts to stir your own reflection about how you represent Christ to the world.
What type of Ambassador are you?
1. The “I’m too important to be bothered” ambassador.
I’ve met an ambassador from the United States during a community service project in a developing Latin American nation.
While I’m sure the ambassador is a really nice person, my brief meeting with this person left me feeling a little disappointed.
It was a community service project where an American Embassy was painting a school room in an impoverished neighborhood as a good will community redevelopment project. My family participated in the event.
Local adults and children from the host nation were not allowed to participate in painting, only US Citizens and embassy staff and friends.
The logo of the US Embassy was painted on the wall as a reminder of who the benefactor was.
The ambassador showed up for photo opportunity with the local children.
The ambassador took up a paint roller, and rolled a few swipes of paint on the wall.
Children were oohing and awing, and the local media was filming the circus.
The ambassador made empty comments about blessing the host nation, and then left. It was over and done in 5 minutes.
The ambassador had more things to do that day.
I’m sure US ambassadors do a good job, but this I hope experience was not a representation of US values around the world.
But I found myself thinking – do I ever represent Christ and His Church in such a way?
- When I’m too busy for the poor?
- When I give lip service to community service?
- When I’m too busy with church work to be in the presence of Non-Christians?
- When I’m entirely surrounded by Christian trappings that I won’t let a non-Christian be close to me?
2. The “Unaware of the Embarrassment I’m Causing” ambassador.
On another trip, I was in the check-in line at a busy international airport.
I had just arrived at the airport for a long international flight to the US from a Latin American country.
A bus full of college students finishing their trip arrived at the same time for their return home with their professor.
Several of them proudly wore school logos on their clothing.
I wound up standing behind them in line. I don’t mind lines – they are a part of travel.
But listening to them talk and behave, I began to be embarrassed for them, for their school, and even for my country.
They were bragging about how drunk they got the night before.
The described the discomfort levels of their current hangover.
They used unnecessary foul language. (I’m not offended by such language, but it brings shame upon their school that they feel the need to talk this way).
While they were no longer drunk and were still allowed to fly, their public relishing of their behavior was not cool.
When the gate clerk wouldn’t let the group in the priority line (because only the professor had status), the students cussed, complained, yelled, and caused a general scene. They griped about having to wait in line. They griped about not having their privileges (really of their professor) honored.
The professor wasn’t much of an adult either. Cussing, swearing, allowing line cutting etc. He didn’t represent his school very well abroad either.
Though they eventually complied with the airline staff, their rudeness and belittling of staff simply led me to hang my own head in shame.
This group modeled “The Ugly American Abroad” and were negative ambassadors for their schools. They probably are unaware of the embarrassment they caused their school and to Americans in general
But I found myself thinking – do I ever represent Christ and His Church in such a way?
- When I complain about people in a critical tone.
- When I get angry when I don’t get MY way.
- When I get frustrated when something doesn’t work.
- When another driver cuts me off and I yell out my window (or wish for their destruction).
You are an ambassador for Christ.
These occasions have given me pause for reflection. I want to be a positive ambassador for Christ. I want my words and my lifestyle to reflect the transformation and development that Christ is working in me.
I do not want people to hang their head in shame because of my public behavior. I do not want to harm the reputation or cause of Christ because of how I represent Christ to the world around me.
The friend I’m currently witnessing to has a regular objection to Christians who are one way in church and another way in public.
Part of how I’ve earned a hearing with him and am able to share God’s activity in my life is that I have been an effective ambassador for Christ.
My life matches my words. I do as much as a I can to bring glory to Christ in my behavior and actions. I am an ambassador for Christ.
If you are follower of Jesus, you are an ambassador for Christ. Live like it in public.
People may not know you are His ambassador unless your clothing or conversation marks you as a follower of Christ. I would not have known what college they were attending except for their clothing. I wouldn’t not have known the US ambassador if I had encountered them in a different context that wasn’t an embassy project.
But if they can connect your public behavior to the cause of Christ, what connection will they make.
Don’t hinder a person’s journey to faith by how you are in public.
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In this 70 minute MP3 AUDIO recording on personal evangelism you will learn:
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It’s a 70 minute audio file that takes just a few minutes to download, but it may help you answer the question:
What can you do in the next 90 days to grow in your evangelism skills?
Good morning Chris – thank you for another, insightful article. I have just recently taken on the Outreach Team Captain position at my church, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Fremont California. I love serving and representing our Lord in every way….and I have always said that your outward behavior speaks volumes about who you belong to, and I am HIS! We have about 600 members in our church…many of them elderly, who do not want to evangelize or are unable to physically get out and do so. I’m starting a new program, “Gifts of Grace – Sharing His Love” this next month. Small cards identifying our church with a message of His Amazing Love are to be carried by our members at all times in their wallets. The idea is for them to make the most of given opportunities to reach out to someone, presenting them with the card as well as a small gift of a cup of coffee, a bridge toll payment, whatever – to create a memory and a connection. It is similar to random acts of kindness, but can be done anytime, anywhere, year-round. I’m anxious to see how this goes over. Like most churches, our members “cringe” at being asked to evangelize or testify. I’m hoping to get some training sessions going occasionally to take the fear out of it. The holidays are always a time for visitors. We have a bread program as well, where we drop by homes of first-time visitors to our church and present them with a gift of bread, taking just a few minutes to introduce ourselves and thank them for their visits. This Thursday is our Harvest Festival, and our Outreach team will be manning the hospitality area. Any quick ideas?
Thanks again so much,
In His service,
“What the caterpillar considers the end of the world, God calls a butterfly”
Welcome to the joys of the Outreach ministry. It is such an awesome privilege to serve the guests that God brings.