When there is a health crisis or economic pain, are people’s hearts softened or hardened to the Gospel? We asked our listeners on Facebook, but we also asked an expert. Stu Millar is the Director of Train to Proclaim, which offers resources to help people grow more confident in evangelism. He believes these unprecedented times offer unprecedented opportunities for spreading the Word.
2020 has been defined by droughts, bushfires, pandemics and protests. Anxiety is at an all-time high, and we’re only halfway through the year. So how can the Church act as “salt and light” to a world full of tired and traumatised people?
Stu Millar acknowledges that everyone has a lot to think about right now, especially as we approach the end of the federal government’s six-month relief window.
“There’s a lot of people, and businesses, that are operating ok,” he said, “but they’re being propped up by the government. And come September, there won’t be any more propping up. Then what’s going to happen? It’s certainly concerning. There’s a lot of fear, a lot of anxiety, a lot of hurt in our society now.”
But he also reminds us that the promise of Christ’s return offers us a different perspective. “We don’t need to worry or be anxious or anything, because we know the end of the story, and we know we have that hope. Now that doesn’t mean there’s not going to be massive challenges in our lives. But we have a hope that we can offer to the world, and we’ve got a massive opportunity at the moment.”
Even lifelong believers can struggle to evangelise at the best of times, fearing that in our increasingly secular world, they’ll be met with hostility or ridicule. But how do times like these change the way people respond to the Christian message? In our Facebook poll, 77 per cent of listeners said that peoples’ hearts re softened to the Gospel when things aren’t going well.