by Will Peycke
Who is learning the gospel from you?
So far this week, I’ve been privileged to be part of several different conversations around last Sunday’s sermon passage, Colossians 1:1-8. (It’s been a good week!) Among the many highlights in this passage, one that keeps catching my eye is this little phrase at the start of verse 7: “…just as you learned it (the gospel) from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant.”
Paul opened his letter to the Colossian Christians by thanking God for their faith, love, and hope (vv. 3-5). He celebrated the growth and impact of the gospel among the Colossians and in the whole world (v. 6). And he affirmed Epaphras, the man who had helped his fellow Colossians to “understand the grace of God in truth” as they learned the gospel from this “faithful minister of Christ” (vv. 6b-8).
As I met with a few other men this morning, we applied this text by pausing to remember and thank God in two related ways. We thanked him for those from whom we learned the gospel as well as for the ways we see him growing faith, love, and hope in those who are learning the gospel from us.
That brings me back to my opening question: Who is learning the gospel from you? Who is hearing “the word of the truth, the gospel” from your mouth? Who is understanding “the grace of God in truth” by witnessing the increasing faith, love, and hope God's Spirit is growing in your life?
For each of the men in our group this morning, the first people who came to mind were our kids. Fellow parents, may this be true for each of our families! If our children are asked one day from whom they learned the gospel—who was like Epaphras to them—I hope their parents will be among the first people who come to mind.
But I also hope they think of other names, people from their church family who loved them and encouraged them to follow Jesus: a connection hour teacher, a Midweek or youth leader, an adult in their community group.
Like Epaphras to the Colossians, several of those “faithful ministers of Christ” come to mind for me. Who comes to mind for you?
Thank God for them today… and then consider how you can follow in their footsteps.
There are so many ways to help others learn the gospel. In this space, I want to highlight just one of them: children’s ministry. Serving with children is a great way to help others learn the gospel!
My favorite example of this is one you may have heard from me before. On a Wednesday night several years ago, I was listening to a little guy (maybe six years old) say the verse he had memorized that week: “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3). He rattled it off no problem, but for some reason—a nudge from the Spirit?—I asked a follow-up question:
“Great job! Do you know who ‘Christ’ is?”
“Do you know what ‘sins’ are?”
“Do you know what ‘the Scriptures’ are?”
“Would you like me to tell you what this verse means?”
Opportunities like this to help others learn the gospel abound in children’s ministry! Why not join us on Wednesday nights this fall? We could still use a few more Midweek leaders and helpers. You don’t need to teach a lesson or organize an activity, and no up-front speaking is required. You can make a gospel impact just by listening to a child recite a Bible verse and then talking with them about what it means.
There are plenty of other opportunities in our church family to help others learn the gospel as well. If you’d like to explore more opportunities, sign up for the Serving at Kossuth connection hour class that begins October 3. Who will learn the gospel from you?