London City Mission’s Doug Cruz gives his top tips on how best to share the good news this spring


Source: Ammentorp Photography / Alamy Stock Photo

Easter gives us a chance to reflect on the reason for our faith: the fact that Jesus died and rose again to give us a way into heaven, a way to know and be with God for eternity. 

And yet so many in our nation still don’t know this good news. One in two people in London alone are unlikely to have a Christian friend that will share the gospel with them.

How can we ensure we don’t miss an opportunity? As a missionary with London City Mission (LCM), I have the privilege of seeing God move in the most encouraging ways every day. LCM missionaries like me are working to actively build teams in local churches who will share the gospel with everyone – neighbours, friends, those living on local estates and anyone else we can find in our communities.

You may not be out visiting local estates each day, but you may have invited friends or strangers to join your local church on Easter Sunday. We need to make sure we’re building relationships, starting conversations about faith and bringing hope every chance we get, even after the Easter service.

In this season I’m reminded of a testimony. I had been training a woman called Catherine who had a real love for her community and a heart to share Jesus. When I heard about a local woman called Linda who was living in one of the council estates and interested in coming to church, Catherine was the obvious person to come along with me.

Catherine and I went to meet Linda – and I’ll never forget it. Full of anger and pain, Linda revealed her traumatic past of an abusive father, and a childhood spent moving from one care home to another. She’d been hurt by Christians before and felt let down, but didn’t want to give up on the interest she felt in going to church.

Catherine maintained regular contact with Linda and soon became a close friend. Eventually, Linda accepted Catherine’s invitation to church. 

When Linda walked through the doors for the service, she was immediately struck by the fact that she felt part of the family, she felt loved, and she felt like she belonging. I wish you could see how Catherine continued to minister to Linda after that first meeting. Catherine visited, gently listened, prayed and read the Bible with Linda, and, importantly, followed up. It wasn’t long before Jesus touched her heart and Linda gave her life to Christ! Praise God! Can you imagine the joy Catherine and I shared at Linda’s baptism? 

So many people desperately need the hope that Linda has found. How can we follow up and care for those even after the Easter services have finished?

These are helpful pointers I have found useful as I seek to share the gospel:

  1. We can listen. Getting to know newcomers to our communities is sometimes as simple as just taking the time to hear about their past experiences. Many carry feelings of pain, hurt, guilt and trauma. Listen with empathy and understanding – offer care and acceptance, don’t jump in with answers too quickly. Connecting on this personal level opens the doors for a continued relationship and even more opportunities to share the hope of Christ.
  2. We can pray. Once we’ve listened, we now have specific things we can be praying for. We can and should be praying for the individuals on our hearts in our private prayer time, but I also encourage you to pray out loud with them as well, if they feel comfortable.
  3. We can visit. The powers of technology mean we often don’t need to leave our living room to connect with others, but there is power in going to visit someone in person. Whether that’s meeting them in their home or somewhere else in their community, a visit (and a listening ear and prayer) was welcomed by Linda and helped Catherine get to know her even more.
  4. We can follow up. It’s not a one-time thing! We can pray continuously, we can listen to every conversation and we can visit regularly! It may not happen immediately – Linda’s journey to giving her life to Christ wasn’t overnight – but Catherine remained consistent in her care and outreach. It can be a small example of the unconditional love Christ has for each of us – and what better way to demonstrate that?
  5. We can point people to Jesus. Asking questions about what people believe and finding out where they are in their spiritual journey is an important part of understanding someone and lovingly building connection. If people are open, read key bible passages together and ask how it speaks to them about God.  

Right now, in your community, there are many people like Linda who need the Gospel and hope only found in Jesus. They have expressed an interest in Jesus - don’t leave someone to find their own way.

The hope of Jesus changes lives – I see it every day in people like Linda. We just need to harness the confidence to follow-up with someone and continue to share the good news. To show them that Jesus cares for them individually. It changes everything. Don’t pass up the opportunity to bring hope to your friends and neighbours today.