seems like everyones talking or debating about evangelism at the moment. alot of it makes me smile but thought i’d post about it, not to promote ‘my’ views, or my ‘way’, but just to fire out a few questions and a couple of thoughts to help process some of this stuff.
evangelism is a word that so many Christians dread. it fills them with fear. brings about a guilt. what if i get it wrong? or say the wrong thing?
we debate if we should just go out and show people actions of love to point them to Jesus. while others say that its about telling people the truth as quickly as we can. some highlight short term mission teams as the way forward. others are more about huge city wide initiatives. some say its about friendships. others say evangelism must be done through the church. some say its about getting Jesus into the conversation as quickly as possible. others say its about a long term journey.
but Jesus never made it about a specific formula with the disciples. i mean, if He did, we’d all be doing it the same way. and that’s just it. have we made this whole evangelism thing too formal? too organised?
i’ve been thinking about this for ages and a key verse that strikes me is Colossians 3:17. now anyone who knows me or has heard me speak in the last year will probably know that i’ve been banging on about this verse for ages. for the most part of that time i focused on the word “whatever” in this verse, mostly helping encourage folks that God can use them in the things they are passionate about. however, recently its another aspect of this verse that has landed on me. its weird that you can study and think and speak and share and hear about a verse for so long, and then after ages something new hits you. i’m slow and this is simple but for me this speaks to me about evangelism…
“and whatever you do, whether in WORD or DEED, do it all as a representative of the Lord Jesus.”
i mean, that’s it. our words and deeds must measure up. there are times to represent Jesus through our actions. and there are other times to represent Jesus through our words. more than formulas or programs. more than organisations or mission trips. even friendships or churches. there is a call for us to be Jesus’ representative in what we say and what we do. with whoever we are with and wherever you are.
evangelism is not an activity, it’s a lifestyle. and for me, the way that this can be seen best seems to be through relationships. the highs and lows. walking through life in words and deeds. actions and conversation. and maybe we can be a wee bit more intentional about this.
i was once told that if you were talking with someone for the first time and the conversation hadn’t come around to Jesus within 6 minutes that you had failed evangelistically.
what a load of rubbish…..6 minutes??!
for too long we’ve been chucking stuff at people from a distance and ducking away from meaningful relationships. can we begin to allow God to be part of our everyday lives so much that we begin to journey alongside those who need us the most.
so who needs my friendship right now?
who has God been calling me to journey alongside?
who needs a lifestyle of Christ modelled out to them that is different to all they ever encounter?
who requires more than 6 minutes?