The life of evangelical churches and their spiritual leaders has been portrayed in some recent films and series. Can they help us start conversations?
The gospel is one beggar telling another where to find food.
It is said that JESSE OWENS was one of the greatest athletes of all time.
That's not surprising, since he did things that no-one has surpassed.
A few days before taking part in the 1936 Berlin Olympics that covered him with glory, he broke the world records for the 110 and the 220 yards races, and the 220 yards hurdles - three records on the same day!
Later he won four gold medals and set as many more world records. He had a tough opponent in the long jump: the German, FRITZ LONG, who kept ahead of him for almost the entire competition.
Just before the final jump, Fritz came up to Jesse and said: "I'm a Christian too, and I know God is with you and will help you." Jesse jumped 8.13 metres (the world record) and won.
Fritz came second, but the friendship between the two athletes is one of the finest pages in sporting history.
You must realise that Hitler had set up those Olympic Games to demonstrate the supposed superiority of the Aryan "master race".
I'm sure Jesse didn't expect this kind of direct help from God. In spite of being a good Christian, he could never have imagined that his main opponent would turn out to be a brother in Christ and a lifelong friend.
God is like that; often his help comes in unexpected ways.
God uses each of us to help others, just as they help us. We all need to be ready to serve those around us in material and spiritual ways.
We can try to meet their physical needs as we give of ourselves. In spiritual terms, we can teach them the most beautiful message there is: the love of God for everyone in the world.
That's what preaching the gospel is: one beggar telling another where to find food. The gospel is good news, because God can change the life of anyone in the world.
The best thing we can do for those we love is to tell them about Jesus. He has named us his ambassadors. God is where we are and speaks through us.
When we obey him and serve him by helping others, they may say with Jacob: "The Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”