As believers share the gospel message, they often encounter barriers like geography, language, government, tradition, or religious beliefs. These barriers prevent the message from being understood and accepted. An approach for evangelism and discipleship that works in one culture may not necessarily be effective in a different culture. Believers must seek God’s wisdom in building bridges of understanding and depend on the Holy Spirit to go before them and prepare the hearts of the people with whom they share.
Teaching Time: 12 minutes (does not include cook time)
Materials: plates, waffles, pancakes, and syrup
Pretend that these pancakes and waffles are the world. The syrup is like God’s word. Hold the syrup over the middle of the pancake and pour. Observe how the syrup spreads evenly across the pancake. Pour the syrup over the waffle, but stop after a few squares are filled. Why does the syrup spread differently across the waffle? The waffle walls around each square keep the syrup from spreading evenly. How could we make sure that every square gets filled?
When we think about how God’s word spreads, the world is more like a waffle than a pancake. The good news of Jesus is reaching some people groups, but there are “waffle walls” that keep it from spreading to other people groups. Here are some of these barriers:
● Language – speaking words that another group does not understand
● Geography – living in remote areas that are difficult to reach
● Government – making laws that prevent people from sharing the gospel
● Culture – having different histories, ways of life, values, and beliefs
Believers need God’s help to bring the gospel to every people group.
1. Why is it important for the gospel message to get to every people group on earth (Revelation 15:4)?
2. What are some barriers in our community that keep people from hearing and understanding the gospel? How can believers overcome these barriers? Has our family experienced any of these barriers when trying to share the gospel?
Pray that God will give believers wisdom about how to overcome barriers and courage to cross them when sharing the gospel.