Monday, March 7, 2011

Preach the Gospel at all times…Use Your Words

I have never been a fan of the oft quoted St. Francis of Assisi adage “Preach the gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.” Aside from the fact that it can promote a works-based theology (which is a blog post for a another day…) I think that it implies that talking about our faith is unnecessary except in the direst of circumstances.

This makes me think of my friends who have young children and are often heard telling them in times where communication is failing, during tantrums or crying spells – “Use your words.” Once this mother knows what is at the root of her child’s problem she can communicate loving words and actions to help that child through a troubling time.

It’s been my experience that women need to hear from other women the ways in which their lives are being transformed by the gospel. That very word gospel – euaggelos in the Greek – carries the idea of preaching, telling, speaking.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately as I am scheduled to speak to a unique group of women this coming weekend. I only have 20 minutes to share at their chapel service and I want to make the most of it. The message that keeps running through my mind is “Your Word” – give them the Word. I wish I knew how to do that in only 20 minutes!

Ironically I woke up this morning with a reminder from a favorite blogger, author and speaker, Lysa Ter Keurst, that the scholarship process for the She Speaks Conference has begun. I wish the conference were tomorrow because I feel like I could use a little help right now.

This amazing conference helps women who have been gifted to share the gospel through speaking, writing and leading. Through workshops and training they empower women in their calling to step out with the message God has laid on their hearts.

I have been wanting to go to this conference for years, and this year is no different. Well, it might be a little different because now is the time that God seems to be opening more doors for me to speak. I would love to win a scholarship to this conference. Not just because money is tight and I could use the help, but because Feeding His Sheep has been on my heart for so long. (I’m linking my inaugural blog post for those of you who don’t know my story.)

Along with the reminder from Lysa this morning, I also received an email from my dear friend and pastor’s wife with a thought for the day from Oswald Chambers’ “My Utmost for His Highest” The topic ~ yup … Feeding Sheep! I don’t know if I’ve ever had a time that God has repeated a message so clearly to me in so many arenas in my life at one time. How I long to spend time with other women who feel so clearly called. Maybe this is the year I get to go to She Speaks!

But lest you think this is ‘All About Me’ I would ask you ladies … where do you feel called to speak or lead? How has God asked you to “preach the good news?” Jesus asked Peter “Do you love Me? Feed My sheep.” Some translations read ‘Tend My sheep.’ In these translations we see the deeper understanding of the word – a sense of total or well-rounded care for the sheep – not just feeding their bellies but pasturing them well. Can you imagine Peter tending the sheep without ever speaking to them? Neither can I.

So let’s go feed some sheep. Speak the gospel ladies, and by all means, use your words!

Blessings, Tina


  1. So true! As women, we need to lift eachother up with God's word. Love you dear friend.

  2. I love the quote by Francis. I have never thought of it as work based in theology. I have thought of it as, "put your feet where your mouth is." Live in such a way tht Christ pours out. Our actions and preaching must match, and if people do not see integrity in your actions, they will certainly not find depth to your words. I think Francis had just read James when he said these famous words!

    Tina, you will do a great job speaking to that group of women. Have fun!!! They love to laugh. Speak some Jesus - they want to hear it.

    See you at TLC!!!

  3. thank you for your post. i've never heard of this conference and will go look it up. i love the idea of stepping into your gifting and praise the Lord for this new door you have, but the message will be from Him and you'll have a joyful experience watching what He'll do through you. :) blessings on your adventure! hugs! <3

  4. My understanding of the quote was to "show" your faith through actions. As usual, my wise friend, you give me another way of looking at it. The women will be so blessed by your talk and the Word that you will share with them. Hugs to you, Cathy

  5. You are "spot on"! Sometimes we need to be brave and really use our words to share what Jesus has done for us. I would LOVE to go to "She Speaks" with you... Thanks for sharing your heart, and I know you'll do an amazing job of sharing this weekend.
    Blessings, Jane C

  6. Would you believe that a week ago, my blog didn't exist? It wasn't until He told me to start it while I sat in church last Sunday (and then I wrestled with it all day) that I started it? He gave me the gift of writing, that much I knew and He shared the next step in my journey.

    I am also hoping to attend this year! Good luck to you!

  7. It is so nice to meet you, I am just dropping in via She Speaks. I am on a mission to meet as many wonderful women with hearts for God I can.
    Wishing you Blessings and luck!
    I hope you will stop by
    and get to know me too! Many Blessings, Deborah

  8. I personally have always loved that quotation and interpreted it much as HarborMom does. Perhaps because I heard it first from a dear, wise, gentle and deeply spiritual friend who was a Franciscan who lived out the quotation. She certainly spoke the gospel (she was an Episcopal priest), but more importantly, she lived the gospel and I loved and respected her and wanted to be just like her. If our actions and words do not match we will not have any credibility with those we are trying to win over for Christ. I agree, Tina, that it is vital that we speak the gospel, but we must also live the gospel if we want to impact lives.

    Thank you for your great thoughts and insights on your blog. I know you will bless the ladies this weekend and hope you are able to go to the conference this year. You have so much to offer.

  9. Tina,

    You are an amazing woman and I am so excited to see what the Lord is doing in your life. I am dying to know who it is you spoke to this weekend and how it went.


  10. Hi Tina, what a beautiful blog! I hope you get to go to She Speaks! I am considering going again this year...I hopped over from Lysa's contest. How fun to read these posts! :)