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Seven-Day Practical Faith Blog: If You Don't Speak, Will Anyone Hear?

A question for every Christian putting their faith into practice is, how do I share the good news of Jesus?

I’m what Ed Stetzer (dean and professor at Biola University) would define as an incarnational evangelist. Throughout my life, I typically have shown the gospel through my actions and the life I lead rather than through declaration, which is a second type of evangelism. Now that I operate Cecil Taylor Ministries, I have mixed more open declarative evangelism into my life as well. (A third type is demonstrative, mainly expressed through caring for others and advocating for humanitarian causes).

A strong influence on my incarnational style is what happened after my high school graduation ceremony, when a close friend confided that he had been watching me all through high school to learn what a Christian is. A startling moment it was to realize that my actions were unknowingly influencing another person.

So I focused on my actions and lifestyle as my outside-the-church witness to Christ. I believe it has been an effective style that has gently taught others how a relationship with Jesus can transform your life.

A phrase I read recently makes me think about evangelism in a new light.

In Judson Stone’s biography of his missionary ancestor, George Stone, entitled A Modest but Crucial Hero, there is a moment of clarity for George shortly after he began his missionary stint in Bahrain. George wrote to his family in New York:

There is a wonderful attractiveness about this work when you feel that, in God’s providence, the responsibility all rests upon yourself, and if you do not speak, then no one will hear.

Have you ever felt like if you do not speak, then no one will hear?

We do not live in the culture in which George Stone immersed himself, where the Bible was not much known, and missionaries stealthily did their work against the current of the dominant religion. We may feel like there are plenty of opportunities for the good news of Jesus to be heard in our society.

But what if we felt like it was up to each of us individually?

There’s an old, true saying that you may be the only Bible someone will ever read. This affirms an incarnational lifestyle, declaration of the Gospel, and demonstration of Jesus’ love for people; all three variants are valuable in “speaking” the good news of Christ. That idea of being the only Bible someone might read puts the onus on us – If you do not speak, then no one will hear.

Our seven-day practical faith journey includes a component of evangelism. Consider how you will implement its call on your life and how you will speak the gospel so that others will hear.

One of my sisters in Christ is Lyvita Brooks. She and I got together recently for her podcast, "Hanging Out with Jesus," to talk about my book, "From Comfort Zone to Trust Zone." Lyvita asked some good questions about how we can really let go and trust Jesus as we take risks for his kingdom. Please check out the conversation at

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