Wanted: Evangelism. Any Takers?

There has been a large gap of time that has passed since I last posted. Let’s just say that I’ve been overwhelmed, under-motivated, and lacking the desire to write. For the three or four readers that may remain, I should be getting back in the groove soon.

I have been guilty of something as a minister, that I believe many ministers struggle with – not always practicing what I preach.

How many times have I encouraged people to reach out to others? To invite others to church? To teach them the Gospel? The times are too numerous to count, yet I can count the few times I recall where I actually, on my own, did evangelism like I encourage others to do.

Jesus told his followers to preach the Gospel to people all over the world. I am a follower of Christ. Therefore, in order to obey Jesus, I need to be doing the same. I’m afraid, however, that I’m guilty of expecting the evangelism to come to me, instead of me going to do the evangelism. I get caught up with work at the building, the office, with the people who are already a part of the church. Why do we do this?

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, – 1 Peter 3:15

Am I always prepared? Are you? Is the reason I’m lacking in my evangelism because I’m not showing this “hope” Peter says we should have? Am I alone in this?

I think there was a time in the US when you could approach just about anyone, and talk to them about God, and not be fearful of how people would respond. Now, it seem we all walk on eggshells about our faith, not wanting to offend, and possibly even just wanting to keep it to ourselves.

So here’s some things I try to do to evangelize outside of my office bubble:

1. I always try to say God bless to anyone who offers me some sort of service. I drive through a drive through, and I say God bless to the person taking my money, and the person handing me my food.

2. I try to be aware that the rest of the world is being pretty negative. If I can share a smile, be polite and cordial to everyone, and just do things that used to be considered “good manners”, I think it makes an impact.

3. I bring up my occupation when appropriate, not to brag, but to remind me of who I am and what I do. This makes it surprisingly easier to be an evangelist, because its almost expected to be brought up. Case in point, two weeks ago I ran into Dillards late on Saturday to buy a tie to go with a new sports coat I had bought. The lady who was helping me match my coat to a new tie seemed a bit flustered, due to all the Black Friday sales. I brought up that I needed a new tie to go with my coat because I was preaching in the morning. Immediately her spirit changed, not because she was trying to “act better” in front of a minister, but because I reminded her of what was coming. She told me that she was going to have a better night now, remember that the Lord’s Day was the next day. I don’t know where she went, or what religion she was, but she was reminded of God’s comfort.

Those are just a few things, but I want to know how the rest of you follow God’s command to make disciples. What have you found that works? I’ve seen many blogs and posts on the fact that evangelism is commanded, but not many people talk about what they’re doing, but rather about the fact that its supposed to happen.

4 comments on “Wanted: Evangelism. Any Takers?

  1. I think you’ve pointed out some great ideas here, Lane. I think one of the best things we can do to live out our faith is to acknowledge the humanity of those we come in contact with; look them in the eye, affirm their presence, treat them with kindness and dignity. I think those kinds of qualities, however insignificant they might seem, make a difference in people’s lives. When we make ourselves truly present to others around us, I think we’re following closely the example of Jesus.

    I also think that we’re in an age where our actions speak louder than the words we say. Lip service is cheap, but when people see authentic demonstrations of our faith — acts of justice, mercy, compassion — that’s powerful.

    I try to listen to people. That’s a quality that I find lacking in the world, so when people speak, I try my best to look them in the eye, give them my undivided attention, to let them know I’m really listening rather than looking past them. That’s not a tactic to evangelize / convert them, but it’s embodying the ethic of Christ, who made Himself fully present to the people around Him.

  2. I wonder sometimes if we only think of evangelism as “we have to convert them/have a Bible study with them/etc.”

    Its a great point of making sure they know you’re listening. I know a lot of us struggle with trying to think of how we’re going to respond instead of listening.

  3. The very root word we use in “evangelism” means “good news”, so I think any time we embody the Good news of Jesus, we’re evangelizing. Which is exactly the point you were making.

  4. Hi Lane, Happened upon your blog site and thought I’d say hello. I was wondering if the name of your site was from the song “From the Inside Out”? I enjoy hearing Hillsong sing that one. We actually sang that as a speakers song at the last Prison Weekend that I worked and the fellows all seemed to like it.

    Enjoyed seeing the pics of your family… Vyva and I are getting ready to head to Florida in the next couple of weeks like we usually do. It’s been pretty cold in G’ville so it’s time to go.



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