Evangelism: What's Your Style?

I’m getting emails on the topic of evangelism. Is sharing our faith a thing of the past? I’m making reference to a Christian blogger who wrote that he predicts a collapse of evangelism within ten years due to the fact that there is more emphasis among Christians on causes such as pro-life or anti-gay marriage than actually knowing what they believe about their faith. Can we Christians articulate the gospel?

Today I heard Chuck Colson address this topic on Breakpoint. He quoted Barna statistics that reveal only a grim 7 to 9% of Christians believe in a Biblical world view. He went on to say that we need discipling. We need to recapture our first love.

I have the utmost respect for people who study the Bible and can articulate the gospel. That’s my goal, too. But I believe evangelism is so much more than that. I believe in relationship. I hope I’m not oversimplifying the gospel. I was won to Christianity because someone loved me; I was unlovable and knew it. I was drawn in to the truth because someone loved Jesus enough to care about me and teach me. When I committed my life to Christ, I couldn’t quench my thirst for His Word. I needed teachers and mentors to disciple me.

I remember an incident when I was a brand new Christian. I was turned off one day when a repairman arrived at my home to fix my dishwasher. He evangelized me and I felt like his gospel points were more important than his acceptance of me as a person. I tried to get him to slow down, so I could get my turn to talk and tell him “I’m already in.” Apparently, he didn’t care about me as much as he cared about his performance, not to mention the stupid hat he wore that said “I’m Damn Good.”

At first, I wasn’t such a good witness myself when I was first learning how to share my beliefs, so I should extend mercy to the dishwasher guy. I remember having a super-sized time in the Word one afternoon when the door bell rang. It was the Avon lady. I invited her in knowing full well that I cannot wear Avon; it makes me itch. She made the mistake of asking me how I was doing. Well, I was pumped and told her all about Jesus. She was not impressed so I purchased a piece of jewelry so she would come back! That is so dishonest. It was just as bad when she returned. I talked way too much about Jesus, insensitive about her feelings. However, I listened enough to her to hear that she was sick with Lupus. I prayed for her. No one was more surprised than me when she called me months later on her hospital bed and told me “I just met Jesus and He healed me.” We were on the phone for quite some time that evening because He touched her and she would never be the same.

I can’t think of anything richer than my faith to share with others who are searching for God. However, I feel that it’s an on-going learning experience to know how to make the presentation of the truth and be comfortable enough with myself to relate well with whom I’m speaking. It’s a fine dance that imparts love and truth. The more time I spend with Jesus, I notice the better I get at this. Oh, to love people the way Jesus did…that’s the key!

Comments

  1. It's a worthy subject, for sure. And, just like people & cultures, there are many different and equally effective styles of evangelism.

    I'm with you: I prefer lifestyle evangelism. That said, I believe there's a place for crusades (ala Billy Graham) and other outreaches.

    Whatever method is employed, you're right on with the "love" thing. Without it, even the most eloquent evangelist is but a clanging cymbal!

    Be blessed,
    Kathleen

    P.S. It is very, very concerning to me that our once Christian nation is host to so few that actually believe God's word or desire to serve Him.

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  2. Oh, to love people the way Jesus did...that's the key. You are absolutely right. I couldn't agree with you more in the things that you have shared here. We need to have ears to listen and be sensitive to others as well as being able to spread His word at the same time. I always learn so much when reading others thoughts and feeling their feelings as I read. You are a very perceptive woman and have a love for the Lord, which truly shines through your posts. Thank you for being a friend and sister in Christ with me.

    Peace and Blessings,
    Alleluiabelle

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