The pastor was really courageous. After the evangelism class he taught, I chatted with him about how courageous he was. Evangelism and Giving are two subjects likely to make people uneasy. Many leaders avoid them or minimize the time.
I think that evangelism (and giving) dredges up guilt and shame. We know we should be more active in talking with others about Jesus. And we are ashamed to admit how little we proactively initiate with others.
I visited church with my son and daughter-in-love yesterday. That’s where I attended the pastor’s evangelism class. Training others in evangelism is what I’ve done all my adult life. It doesn’t make me an expert evangelism trainer, just an active participant in trying to help others experience the amazing privilege of seeing someone open the door of their lives to Jesus. Getting to see a new birth is a tremendous privilege.
I had several thoughts during the class. Here are some the things I’ve found helpful.
- Having the proper perspective: Success in evangelism is simply taking the initiative to share Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God. This simple explanation frees me to be successful because the results are God’s.
- CoJourners is one of the best approaches to evangelism I’ve used in recent years. The focus is coming alongside others on the roadtrip called life. I’ve written about my experiences here and here.
- Sharing your personal story is an excellent way to share with others. The 5clicks.com site is very helpful in preparing your story in a compelling, winsome way.
- A friend of mine uses a very intentional approach to prepare to share with someone every day. Each morning, he takes a booklet or a New Testament or a Jesus Film DVD in his hand. He prays, “Lord, this belongs to someone else. Please lead me today to its new owner.” Then he goes out for his day eagerly expecting to find someone to give the booklet or DVD.
- Don’t be afraid of a question you can’t answer. I don’t hesitate to ask someone to play basketball because I’m afraid they might ask a question I can’t answer. And if I am asked a question, saying “I don’t really know a good answer right now. How about if I think about it and get something to you tomorrow?” Then go to search.ccci.org which searches across 2,000 websites in 50 languages for the best articles to questions like “How do I know if God really exists?” or “How can a good God allow all the evil and suffering in the world today?” Go to the search engine and type in one of these questions. See, good results that you can forward to your friend.
My son wrote about another misconception voiced yesterday.
It works! It takes courage. It takes overcoming all sorts of little whispers from the one who would have us keep silent. “He’s not interested.” “Don’t interrupt her now!” “You’ll only embarrass yourself.” I hear these and more every time I’m about to take the initiative to share Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and leave the results to God.
As Nike made famous, just do it.