We have often heard this passage spoken on, we have read it, and we know what it basically means. I say basically because we cannot always fully draw out all the meaning from it for a long time. Think about this passage: we are to go and make disciples. Of who? All Nations. Does this mean we have to move to a different continent and be missionaries? Of Course not. Evangelism takes place anywhere and everywhere. No matter the time or place, you can share the gospel.
When do we start evangelizing? Hudson Taylor told a story of a Chinese Pastor he had met who encouraged people to witness as soon as they were Christians. This is how the story goes:
"Once upon meeting a young convert, the pastor inquired, 'Brother, how long have you been saved?' the man answered that he had been saved for about three months. 'And how many have you won to the savior?' 'Oh, I'm only a learner.' the convert responded. Shaking his head in disapproval, the pastor said, 'Young man, the Lord doesn't expect you to be a full-fledged pastor, but He does expect you to be a faithful witness. Tell me, when does a candle begin to shine-when it's already half burned up?' 'No, as soon as it's lit.' came the reply. 'That's right, so let your light shine right away.'"
This somewhat lengthy illustration shares a good point: it is never to soon to start sharing the Good News. Constant excuses fill our minds however. "I'm not a good speaker." " I get too nervous doing those things." "That's what other people are paid to do." "I wouldn't know where to start" "I don't know enough about theology to say anything important." These, as I said, are merely excuses. But, as with all excuses, there is a solution. Starting with the first question, I will give some ideas as to how to solve each dilemma: "You don't have to be outstanding, pray for help and God will give you strength." "Again, God will give you strength to conquer all fear." "True, a few are paid to, but that does not exclude you. All Christians are commanded to share teh gospel, regardless of who else is. If you are the only witness, how much more harvest will the Lord bring to You." "Start with Prayer and then go up to someone and ask a simple question such as, Are you Saved?" "If you don't know the answer to a question go to the Bible or to someone who does know."
I Personally have a lot of trouble going up to a stranger to ask them a question, especially if it is about faith. I cannot say or claim that I have harvested one grain of wheat for saved. The disciples were sent out to be fishers of men immediately after Jesus called them. How much more willing should we be, who have been disciples most of our lives.
Your Brother in Christ