Crazy Is a Compliment

Concerned with Appearances

Believers committed to sharing the gospel will always be thought of as a little crazy by others. If it was true for the disciples in the early days of the church, we should expect it today as well. Nonetheless, it is a struggle for many as we all desire to be thought well of by those around us. What does it look like for Christians to surrender control of their reputations? What are the motivations that sustain a personal commitment to evangelism? Sharing from his experience in global missions, Mack Stiles explains to Mark Mellinger the marks of what it means to be an ambassador of Christ.

Mark Mellinger is the Indiana Public Affairs Director for Bott Radio Network and talk show host for 1090 Today, a radio program that showcases local ministries and encourages Christian living. Mack Stiles is CEO of Gulf Digital Solutions and General Secretary for the Fellowship of Christian UAE Students (FOCUS) in the United Arab Emirates. 

Has a concern over your reputation with others tempted you away from obedience to God? If so, why? If not, why not? What steps did you—or could you—take to confront that temptation in your life?
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What fears do you have about sharing the gospel with those around you? How have you experience God's provision for you in the midst of your fears?
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Mack shared how evangelism is more than an event. It has more to do with living a life that is in line with the gospel, which includes speaking the truth of Christ. Our lives speak so we need to think about the gospel in all the we do. What do you think your life communicates to others? In what ways does it model the gospel? What are some areas that need improving?
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For some, the call of evangelism ends up being a call to foreign missions, like the one Mack experienced himself. Many Christians today struggle with discerning the calling God has on their lives. As a lens for providing clarity, Mack shared the following marks for helping distinguish a call from God. It must be:
  1. Inspired—Have you experienced conviction from God?
  2. Informed—Do you understand what you are getting into?
  3. Confirmed—Does your church affirm your plans?
These three points help provide clarity in the midst of trying to discern calling.

What about Mack's lens do you find helpful? Do you have a clear understanding of your calling? If so, what is it? How did you come to know your calling?
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Who do you know that you consider more mature in their ability to regularly share their faith with others? How will you reach out to them in the days ahead for help in maturing your own commitment to evangelism?
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If our motivation for obedience comes from guilt or shame, it will be short-lived. A lifestyle of evangelism is one brought about by a deep experience with the love of Christ, which compels us to share His love with others. We all have room to grow. As you consider your own life, fight against feelings of guilt and shame when you recognize areas of deficit. Instead, thank God for the recognition and focus on what He has done for you through Jesus Christ. Allow His sacrificial work that has been credited to you to serve as the enduring motivation for your faithfulness.

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