There is something about a true evangelist that I truly admire. While I consider myself to be good at evangelism, there is something truly unique about those with that gift. They possess no inhibition, no fear, no concern for what people may think about them. They share the Gospel in whatever setting they find themselves in and truly seem not to care how they are perceived.
I recruited just such a person to serve on a team with me, though I had concerns about how he might do “fitting in” long-term to the culture we would be serving in. He had a wardrobe that was essentially the same color, black, and the style which I can only describe as “shabby”. He wore an obnoxiously large cross on the outside of his shirt at all times and it seemed he wanted to attract attention with it, not to himself, but to the cross itself. And it did. Frequently in public, strangers would ask him about it, and interestingly enough, usually people who themselves were slightly different: goth, emo, musicians, homeless, to name a few. He unashamedly would share why he wore it.
While he shared unashamedly, I would be ashamed. Ashamed that I didn’t equally attempt to be so apparent about my faith, looking for opportunities to share.
Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. Colossians 4:2-4
Here, in Colossians 4 verse 4, Paul comes across the same way. He has previously asked that the Colossians intercede for him, to speak of the “mystery of Christ”, and here asks that it be “manifest”, visible, made widely known. His was a desire to make the mystery known as publicly as possible. The word manifest also carries the meaning of making it clear. After all, what good is it to expend all that energy on a message that is obscurely communicated.
No, his prayer, was that he clearly, broadly, and publicly make Christ known. We know little about Paul after his conversion apart from his ministry. Perhaps because little else mattered to him or perhaps he was so focused on Christ, serving Him, and making Him known, there was little else left to know.
I wonder at the end of my life, what would be known about me. Will mine be a reputation of making Christ known? Will they say “Ron Barnes, he was consumed with doing the will of the Father”, or will they say “he was preoccupied with himself”? I pray it will be the former. Will you pray this for me… and for you. Pray that we can be proud, not ashamed of the legacy we leave.
Dr. Ronald J. Barnes, Jr.
President / CEO
May 31, 2022