All things in life — such as businesses, relationships and movements — begin with a conversation. Talking one-on-one is human beings’ most powerful form of attunement. Conversations help us understand and connect with others in ways no other species can.
I wish some conversations would never end. I remember the many conversations my wife and I had while dating. We discussed the possibility of getting married, fusing our lives together and having kids.
The world began with a powerful conversation. There was nothing but emptiness and chaos, and then a conversation happened (Genesis 1). That conversation has not ended.
John 1 tells us that “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (v.4–5).
“The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God — children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (v.9–14).
The chapter tells us of John the Baptist, “a man sent from God” who “came as a witness to testify concerning the light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light” (v.6–8).
John testified — or had a conversation — concerning Jesus: “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ … For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known” (v.15–18).
Because Jesus came to earth, the announcement of God’s invasive kingdom was both a fulfillment of a prophecy and a challenge to the world’s present rulers. “Gospel” became an important abbreviation for the news of Jesus Himself and the apostolic message about Him. In Romans 1:16 and 1 Thessalonians 2:13, Paul saw this message as the vehicle of God’s saving power.
The idea of “good news” (also translated as evangel or gospel) had two meanings for the Jewish people. First, it meant the news of God’s long-awaited victory over evil and the rescuing of His people. Second, it was used in the Roman world for the emperor’s birthday.
For early Christians, this creative, life-giving good news was seen as God’s own powerful word. They could use the “word” or “message” as additional shorthand for the basic Christian proclamation.
The term “product evangelist” is commonly used today. It is, in fact, a full-fledged job in some companies. The job is occupied by someone with the ability to grasp, translate and communicate the capabilities of a service or product into clear, beneficial and life-altering results.
Daily, I question what the good news means in my life. This has altered my behavior drastically. I can recalibrate the concept of being a product evangelist to live my life as a product of Jesus’ gospel. I have the capability to evangelize with the greatest story to tell.
Prepare to Share
When you prepare to share the good news, consider three things. First, what do you want someone to know? Second, what do you want someone to feel? Third, what do you want someone to do next?
My story is of a life-transformed, reborn into the family of God. My good news offers change — for the better. My story has a happy ending, and yours could too!
How do artists get better at their craft? They practice, of course, but they also pay attention. You should act like an artist. Practice telling your good news. Tell it to your friends and tell it to your neighbors. Tell it to yourself. Then listen. You might even learn a bit about yourself in the process.
Do yourself a favor. Don’t end that conversation anytime soon.
Jay Cordova is an ordained elder who serves as the director of communications for the Free Methodist Church – USA. He previously worked as a startup business entrepreneur and coached small businesses in a Michigan incubator.