Every disciple of Jesus Christ can contribute to the evangelization of the world by helping to create plausibility zones. Teens, newlyweds, professionals, singles, students, retired persons — everybody can help. Most of us can, in fact, participate in more than one. Let me explain how it works.

In order for people who are lost, confused, and broken to be saved, they must have a relationship with Jesus. As they begin to discover the Son of God and learn of his power to redeem and transform people, the Holy Spirit does his gentle work of drawing them out of darkness into light. The initial state of this process typically doesn’t occur on Sunday morning. It starts in a plausibility zone.

For a variety of reasons, lots of people are either disinterested in the gospel or downright hostile toward Christianity. Perhaps it stems from ignorance. Maybe wounded-ness. Perhaps they’ve been turned off by the abuse of power among churches and clergy. So they need a plausibility zone as a first step in the direction of Jesus.

The gospel becomes plausible to a non-Christian when she sees it being lived with authenticity. Her friend is a person of integrity in business. The family next door models love for one another and makes the larger neighborhood a happier, friendlier place. Her boss treats her with dignity and respect. Because these people are Christians, negative stereotypes begin to erode. She can begin to see that way of life as an option for herself.

Jesus said the world would know his disciples by the love we have for one another. So a man who has been turned off by self-absorbed churches and pushy church members enters a plausibility zone when his attorney guides him through a complex matter with absolute integrity. His colleague keeps him from getting swamped at work when he or a family member gets sick. His retired neighbor helps him with a home repair. His hostility toward Christianity diminishes.

In a plausibility zone, whatever obstacles have kept people from Christ become less forbidding in the face of faith lived genuinely. They neither expect nor demand perfection. But they are seeing — perhaps for the first time ever — an authentic instance of Christ’s presence that is appealing. Now they are willing to hear the gospel.

Do any ideas come to you about expanding your zone?

Now they are willing to hear the gospel.

You must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But you must do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak evil against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong! (1 Peter 3:15-17 NLT)