Parent Sneak Preview - May 29
- Read the story.
- Talk about the Big Idea.
- Memorize the Bible verse.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been on the receiving end of some pretty lame attempts at evangelism. The Turn or Burn t-shirt on the dude in front of me in Physics 201 was a turn-off. Then there was the man who literally reached out and touched my earlobe while he spoke about Jesus because he was convinced it would “open my ears to hear”. Next in line were the people who stopped me on the street to confront me about the peace sign I was wearing - that it was a satanic symbol. Oh, and who can forget the loud, angry guy in the Free Speech area at the University of Kentucky shouting to everyone, Christians and otherwise, that they were going to Hell. I can’t say that any of these experiences led to me becoming part of God’s family. In fact, I’m pretty sure all these examples delayed that movement.
The most significant element in my come-to-Jesus story was God using people who looked like Jesus to grab my attention. People who demonstrated through the way they spoke, listened, asked questions and seemed to care about my answers that I mattered somehow. People whose choices reflected a different, regrets-free kind of living. That was compelling. That was something I wanted to become.
So how do we become that kind of person—that clear reflection of Jesus?
Express care, concern, and listen.
Are you driven to share about Jesus? Or maybe not so much? No matter how God made you—whether quiet and reserved or bubbly and chipper—you can be a person others want to be around. You can be someone whose voice they want to hear. Your presence, care, concern, and attention can help people move toward Jesus. Your life can be so attractive, with or without words, that people want to know Jesus when they look at your life.
Set aside the temptation to “relate up”.
We tend to move toward people we think will add value to our relational world. This is irrelevant in God’s economy. In fact, the most gifted evangelists don’t seem to be aware there is a relational up or a down. Keep your eyes open for people - all people. Whether they’re the life of the party or sitting off to the side quietly enjoying their lunch alone, they matter to God.
Pray for them.
Evangelism is a process and God wins a person’s heart over time. So, if you were to stop and think of it, who is the most likely person in your path to be baptized within the next year? Pray God moves them over that line. And who is the least likely person around you to take that plunge? Pray the same way for them, too.
All in all, it’s really God who brings evangelism to life. Whether it’s being a friend, praying for others, or saying the right thing at the right time, it’s up to God to draw people to Himself. I love this because it means the pressure is off. Evangelism becomes a completely natural, effortless venture.