During my time as a doctor, I quickly learnt that there’s no such thing as taking a break from my profession. I got used to the idea that, even on a day off, I could be asked to give medical advice when meeting friends, be expected to help if someone faints in a mall, and even called to respond if there’s a medical emergency on the plane. Thankfully, I’ve since handed over these responsibilities to my brother.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.1 Peter 2:9
In a way, the same holds true for us as Christians. Peter tells us that we are a royal priesthood called to proclaim God’s excellencies (1 Pet. 2:9), a mission that has been given to every single one of us. But more than that, it’s a responsibility that exists 24/7 – we are called to be God’s priests no matter where we are or when it is; there’s no such thing as taking time off as a priest in God’s kingdom. Yet I think that we — myself included — often think the opposite: if we do share the gospel with someone, it’s the exception, not the norm. But like it or not, God’s desire is for us to be his priests who proclaim the gospel, and every aspect of our lives are just different situations in which we carry out our priestly roles.
So what does it look like to be a priest for God wherever we are? First, be convinced. We won’t tell people the gospel unless we first recognise that it is our responsibility, not someone else’s. Second, walk the talk. If we are proclaiming God’s rescue from sin, then we need to live as those who have been delivered from it. Third, be prepared. Every conversation is an opportunity. Chats about weekend plans, the current COVID-19 pandemic, or even a T-shirt design (yes, it’s happened to me!) can all be used as a springboard to share the gospel. Fourth, be familiar with the gospel. Be so familiar with the gospel that you can concentrate on the person in front of you, instead of worrying about whether you’ve covered every bit of the gospel story. The truth is most of us aren’t actually familiar with the gospel, and if you disagree, just try to share the gospel with a friend without using any Christian jargon like ‘sin’, ‘grace’, and ‘righteousness’. Fifth, create opportunities! Be intentional in steering conversation topics, or even just invite them over for dinner and tell them you want to share what Christians believe. You’ll be surprised at how many people would actually say yes! Lastly, be prayerful. It’s God’s job to open blind eyes and soften hard hearts. Our job is to proclaim.