Peer pressure gets a bad reputation. We blame smoking, drinking, and any other vice on peer pressure. Apparently we’ve all jumped off bridges since our friends did it first. We succumb again and again, mostly in little ways, to the overwhelming effect of peer pressure.
To be honest, peer pressure plays a huge role in preventing evangelism. The reason many of us refuse to bring up Jesus to others is because of our fear of rejection by our peers. We are pressured by our peers into silence. We fake complacency about the very man to whom we owe our greatest allegiance and gratitude. We don’t want to appear too absorbed into our faith or we might be branded, or booed, by our peers. Peer pressure forces us to fall in line with the ideals of religious tolerance, or even better yet by the world’s standards, religious silence.
This is why peer pressure in the church is all the more important. We must create a culture of evangelism in the church. The pressure from the world trying to keep us silent must be outmatched by an even greater pressure from the church to speak proudly about Jesus. We must create an environment where we are encouraged to speak, trained to teach, and excited to share the truth about life in Christ.
This positive peer pressure must be experienced in our worship. We can practice the Gospel message in our sermons. We can share the Gospel message in our songs. We can participate in the Gospel as we partake of the supper and remember our Lord’s sacrifice. We can support the Gospel’s deliverance in our contribution. We can pray for boldness and courage in delivering His Good News.
This positive peer pressure must be practiced in our fellowship. We must share with others the work we are doing to share His message. We should talk about those with whom we are studying, giving names and situations. This will encourage others to do more or get others involved working on those same souls needing Christ. Since we often know many of the same people, we can all work together to share the message of Christ with the world around us.
We must create an expectation of evangelism. You see, evangelism should not be the exception. Those sharing the Gospel should not be few and far between. It should be rare in God’s Church when someone doesn’t share the Gospel. As Luke tells us, when the church began to be persecuted, all of the Christians went everywhere sharing the Gospel everywhere they went (cf. Acts 8.4). This was a culture of evangelism. All were supported by “peer pressure” in their task of sharing His message. This is the culture we should have today in God’s church. Let’s get about pressuring one another in His service.