Tactics and Tools

The Ambassador Model

Author Greg Koukl Published on 02/20/2013

Here’s the model we use at Stand to Reason to help us fulfill Paul’s admonition to be ambassadors for Christ.

Paul says you and I are ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20). An ambassador is someone who represents the desires of his king in a foreign land. I can relate to that. Can you? This land gets more foreign every day; it seems, more unlike God’s kingdom.

But then Paul adds something vital: “We are ambassadors for Christ as though God were entreating through us...” When I thought about these words I realized that wherever you and I go, everything we do or say will be “as though God were entreating through us.”

It’s a sobering thought. I want to be the finest ambassador for Christ I can possibly be...and I know I’m not alone in this desire. But what does it personally mean for us to represent Christ everywhere we go, “as though God were entreating through you.”

Here’s the model we use at Stand to Reason to help us fulfill Paul’s admonition to be Ambassadors for Christ.

An effective ambassador has three essential skills. First, he must have some basic knowledge. Minimally, he must know the character, mind, and purposes of his king.

Second, this knowledge must be deployed in a skillful way. There’s an element of wisdom, a tactical and artful diplomacy that makes his message persuasive.

Third is character. Because an ambassador brings himself along in everything he does, his personal maturity and individual virtue will either make or break the message.

These three areas—knowledge, wisdom, and character—are the three areas all Ambassadors for Christ need to continue to grow in. Sometimes the task can be confusing and even overwhelming. but breaking the job down into these three areas makes it simpler. You can lay a foundation you can build for the rest of your life. Plan to grow in knowledge, tactical wisdom, and character to be a high impact ambassador for Jesus Christ.

If you are learning and growing in these three ways, you’ll be able to say with conviction, “I am an Ambassador for Jesus Christ. I can explain precisely what that means, and I can clearly defend my conviction in the truth of Christianity in an attractive manner that commends the message.” It’s not that hard to do, either, when you cultivate a sensible faith by increasing your knowledge, sharpening your tactical wisdom, and building your character.

I asked myself what it would look like if I listed the intellectual and moral attributes an ambassador for Christ should possess. I had in mind something like the Boy Scout Law I had memorized as a youngster (be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, etc.).

My musings led to a list of ten virtues. I then spent time clarifying precisely how I thought each virtue played its way out in day-to-day conduct.

The creed has been a great help to me. I reread it every month as a regular reminder of the kind of man I want to be for Christ.