Some of you may remember this great little song in kids’ class and babysitting:

This little light of mine
Ain’t gonna let it shine
This little light of mine
Ain’t gonna let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, not one time
Hide it under a bushel, YES!
Ain’t gonna let it shine
Hide it under a bushel, YES!
Ain’t gonna let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, not one time
Let’s let Satan SNUFF it out!
Ain’t gonna let it shine
Let’s let Satan SNUFF it out!
Ain’t gonna let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, not one time
Knock all over the neighborhood….

You get the idea.

I had a lighthearted conversation with some people recently about recording a Stanton Sunday service on video. It occurred to me that most churches would be thrilled to have someone coming in and recording their services. In fact, some church have dedicated volunteers to do this, and larger ones might even pay someone to do it (gasp!).

But why doesn’t Stanton want to let their light shine? Why aren’t they pushing out their message across every social media channel they can get their hands on?

“We do that when we knock on doors,” they might say. Or “we’re more interested in ‘shining the light of truth’ than in reaching large numbers.” Likely story.

I’ll suggest that there are millions of reasons why NOT to let our lights shine. But there’s one good reason to LET your light shine, and that’s because you’re not ashamed of your message, and you truly want to get it out.

If you know your message is flawed, you’re going to “hide it under a bushel,” aren’t you? You won’t invite visitors to your public meetings, like they did in the first century. Instead, you’ll only invite them to a carefully staged “nonmember class.” But again, that’s grooming, not evangelism.

No, if you truly believe you have a message that the world needs, and you are the sole group prepared by God to deliver it, you’d be scrambling to live stream your sermons and nonmember classes to the world to reach as many people as possible. The fact that you’re not says all we need to know. If the salesman doesn’t even believe in his message, why should anyone else?

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” ~Matthew 5:16 (NIV)

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” ~Romans 1:16