October 3, 2022

A Coffin on the Street

Adventist youth leader in Poland explains why we must share the gospel and how to do it.

Marcos Paseggi, Adventist Review
[Photo: courtesy of Marek Micyk]

Sharing the gospel is a lifestyle; it’s not just a strategy. And sharing the gospel can be successful if we will dare to think differently and try new ways of reaching others for Jesus.

This was the gist of the seminar Polish Union youth director Marek Micyk presented as part of the Adventist European Youth Congress in August 2022 in Lahti, Finland. “Is sharing scary?” he asked the Seventh-day Adventist youth from across Europe who attended his presentation. “On the contrary, sharing is caring,” he said.

Why We Share

Micyk explained that when answering the most important question—namely, why we must share the gospel—the usual answer is “because Jesus said so.” But we need something deeper, something we could call a theology of sharing, he said. In that regard we often hear phrases such as, “If you don’t go [to share the gospel], people will be lost!” But perhaps that’s not the best approach, he said. “Remember that we do not save anyone! Jesus already saved them,” Micyk said. “God could finish preaching the gospel in one minute, but His kingdom is all about sharing. God can use us because we need to be renewed and become participants in His kingdom.”

Micyk, who was a partygoer and addict before he met Jesus, shared his experience earlier this year when he decided to drive to Ukraine to assist people in need and then drove back, bringing refugees to stay in Poland. “Those people were ready to hear my story and what I had to share. But if we want to say something about God, we have to know Him first,” he said.

How to Share

If you have never shared the gospel, approaching someone for the first time may feel a little awkward. But after a while you will see that it is exciting to meet new people, Micyk said.

“The key is to share with faith and passion,” he said. “Some people show great passion when sharing crazy ideas. Why wouldn’t [we] do the same when sharing about Jesus?”

Micyk also advised young people to be brave. “So many before us were brave and that is the reason we are here today. When we are brave, better stories happen. We meet more interesting people,” he said.

Another key element is being honest, Micyk said. “We don’t to pretend we are so special and holy. Actually, it’s better if we share about our weaknesses. It’s easier to see that we are normal people,” he said.

Micyk also noted that using simple words is key. “Don’t preach like pastors! Let’s speak the language people speak.”

Finally, he emphasized the importance of prayer. “Prayer is an exchange of perspectives,” Micyk said. “We go to God with our thinking, our ways of doing evangelism, our list of people to reach, and God changes our perspective.”

Where and What to Share

The short answer is, “Everywhere,” Micyk said, as every place can become an opportunity to share our testimony.

And what we share? The message that this life has meaning, he said. “People wonder, why another day, another slice of bread? Why do I need to go to school? What’s the meaning of it all?”

The story of redemption makes sense, Micyk said. “If we believe and share the story with people, we won’t convince people, but the Holy Spirit will. But this is great stuff. We need passion in our hearts [to tell the story], and willingness to do it.”

Trying New Methods

Micyk said he is always willing to try new methods of “street evangelism” to reach the secular populations of Europe. He became known, for instance, for standing with banners on popular tourist spots, offering 1,000 Euros to anyone who could show him with the Bible that Sunday is God’s special day of worship. “It always triggers meaningful conversations with passersby,” he said.

Another “out-of-the-box” method Micyk has tried is placing a real wooden coffin on a pedestrian or downtown street. Sometimes he and his team of young people add candles as they surround the coffin.

Inevitably, people stop to find out what is going on. That creates an opportunity to share a message of hope, he explained. “We said, ‘Every one of us is bound to finish like this. But we have hope because we believe in Jesus. Jesus defeated death. In Jesus there is life, eternal life. In Him there is something more,” Micyk said. He added, “Sometimes we are ashamed, we are afraid. But God will put ideas into your heart to share the gospel in new ways.”

Proclaiming Forgiveness and Wholeness

Another successful conversation point is telling people they are forgiven, Micyk said. He explained that when he talks to people who feel inadequate because of their regrets or a dark past, he often tells them, “You are thinking of a different God than the God I believe in. My God has already forgiven you!” He emphasized, “It is a message that resonates with people, that they like to hear.”

Micyk also likes to point out that life with God can be full of joy and meaning. “Sometimes we hear that life with God is boring; there are many things you can’t do,” he explained. “On the contrary, life with God is amazing! Life with God can be full of joy and peace.”

In that regard, he reminds prospective missionaries to emphasize that it’s not only life eternal that will be great. “How much better [it] is to go through life’s problems knowing that Someone is at your side, caring for you,” Micyk said. “Knowing that even in hard times, which we all experience, He has a plan for us.”

Suggestions to Succeed

In the last part of his presentation, Micyk offered additional suggestions that, in his experience, have been successful when sharing the faith that is in him.

“Speak about the character of God. For many people, we will be the only Jesus, the only Bible they will be able to see,” he said. “Also, tell them about your transformation. When you meet Jesus, there are always moments of peace, of joy. It is so great to share that with others!”

Micyk also noted that we shouldn’t argue with people, “whether they believe in reincarnation or other non-biblical beliefs. It’s better to be kind [to] people and show them that there are other perspectives,” he said.

In that regard, it is essential to be humble and kind. “It’s much easier to reach people when we are humble,” he said. “The idea is to tell people, ‘I am not coming to give you my message; I am coming with Jesus’ message,’” Micyk said.

He also suggested that those who share should try to see more than meets the eye. “Sometimes we meet people, and they are down in their life. We don’t see hope in them for a change,” Micyk said. “But God sees the potential, and we know many stories of people who changed. When we talk to somebody, we should look at them with God’s eyes.”