Getting Moving Again (in Evangelism)
They did it again. You came on Sunday, the sermon starts, the little diagrams went up and sure enough the preacher talks about reaching out to someone who doesn't know Christ. Breathe deep. Exhale. Breathe again.
You know that this is part of the Christian life; you are convinced that those who have been rescued are brought into the team that turns around and helps others to be rescued too. You want to do it, but... you didn't. Not this past week, and not the week before, in fact, you're not sure how long it's been since you talked to anybody about your faith (other than those at church). It's like you've been up standing on the high dive for so long, that while you originally wanted to do it, with each minute you stand there your legs get increasingly stuck and you're not sure if you'll ever jump in.
Well, then listen to what author David Phillips writes in his blog post:
There are few topics more likely to create a sense of guilt in the Christian than personal evangelism. We are surrounded all the time by people who haven’t heard anything about Jesus, people we are talking to about other topics, and yet we say nothing. We could certainly do better. And yet guilt is not a constructive response. Too easily we can get into the habit of feeling guilty but without any change in our behaviour.
Phillips goes on to say that it's not about doing some huge evangelistic gesture, but rather to look for "what is the next step for you to inch forward in sharing your faith this week?"
Some ideas he brings up:
- Begin with showing kindess and developing the friendship
- As you get ot know someone, develop a sense of how to pray better for them
- Then pray for opportunities to share your faith with them
- Work with your small group on how to explain your faith in a concise way
Phillips finishes, "By making evangelism part of the regular agenda of your small group, and ensuring the people in your group are trained and ready to talk about their faith, you will be in a better place to answer the question of how talking to non-Christian friends about your faith is going."
So, let's continue to press on. Let's use our Sundays and our groups to encourage and train us into people who are ready for the opportunities God brings our way.
You can breathe again. Now take a step.
Derick Zeulner is an associate pastor at South Shores Church. He has a M.A. in Theology from Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, CA and he loves the wacky adventures of doing life with his wife, Rebecca, and 4 kids.