How does evangelism work?
Does the word “Evangelism” turn you off?
Does that word evoke in you some sort of imagery of phoniness and deceptive means to introduce people to Christ?
Is there a proven method to reaching people?
Is that what we’re called to do – to “reach people”?
What does “Evangelism” look like in our world today?
Obviously it differs from culture to culture.
You’ve seen them before in your neighborhood.
Is it dishonest to NOT answer the door when the Jehovah’s Witness knocks on it?
You keep telling yourself to be polite, yet you’re still in your pajamas and your hair is a mess, you can’t help but feel embarrassed and that your personal space is being invaded.
Have you been here before?
Most of us have.
Is this the proper way to evangelize?
Is there really a blueprint to evangelism?
Do you have to rehearse cue cards and scripture passages, until you’re polished and prepared to really “sell it”? Is that what evangelism is – selling a product, selling Jesus?
I don’t think so.
There’s something harsh these days about cold calling and neighborhood canvasing.
Don’t get me wrong, perhaps in some ways it can be successful…I’ve just never seem much evidence to that fact, instead quite the opposite. People are put off by it. Most want to have nothing to do with what “you’re selling”. I’m not proposing we stop evangelize, I just think that perhaps we’re going about it all wrong.
Dear Salvation Army, Here are 4 Proven Ways To Evangelize:
1. True Evangelism Happens Organically.
Genuine evangelism happens naturally and because the sweet aroma of Christ is evident in our compassion for others. This isn’t a forced, “cold-call” or a cue card session. This is Christ being seen in us, spontaneous and real – no pretenses, no ulterior motivations, just a Christ-follower wanted others to experience the free of grace and love.
2. Relationship Building
True evangelism and even discipleship takes place when we care more about the person than we do a “pew-filling”. Relationship building costs more in us, perhaps that’s why people are less inclined to invest in relationships than they are in the door knocking type of evangelism. When we intentionally seek out people, befriending them, caring about them, showing up for them – we will see a deeper type of compassion and love in us. We will want to fully commit to sharing Christ. We will take the time to be the very reflection of Christ. Relationship building, to me, carries the most authenticity when it comes to evangelizing to people around us.
3. Coffee Shop/Bar Gimmicks
Pastor Offers “Free Prayer”…
I cringe at the word “Gimmick” but it means more than just phony pretenses and cold
approaches. If we have this desire to win souls, and we are brave, we can put ourselves “out there”. This won’t drive the masses to your corps (church), but this is a different type of statistic – one that carries compassion to the need. Set up shop in a cafe’. Place a card that says “free prayer” or something like that. Go to the local Bar (gasp) and sip a coke-cola while you offer yourself to meeting people with Christ on your mind and heart. (** I would caution you, with the latter approach, that if you have or had a drinking problem – I would advise against going to the bar and sitting. The temptation might be all to real for you.**) There is something about getting into the community and being a beacon of hope where perhaps someone is searching for a voice of encouragement and care.
4. Finding YOUR Groove!
Don’t be someone you’re not. Don’t be fake. Don’t put on a show – Jesus isn’t a show, or a facade, and I wonder sometimes how God-honoring some of these evangelistic methods truly are. Does God need us to sell Him to the masses? Is that what we do? Is that in the job description? I mean, sure, we need to be intentional, we need to care about others, but do we have to go door to door? Do we have to pass out tracts at a sporting event? – No. I think that REAL evangelism looks nothing like that – I think it can present itself as hateful instead…and people are so turned off by it, that no one pays attention to it.
I believe God has given all of us unique gifts and abilities – perhaps within those gifts and abilities lies this sweet-spot. It’s our groove. It’s the place where we thrive and where God thrives with us. Perhaps, it is in this groove that our true abilities to evangelize really takes wings. Within our groove we find balance and commonality with others. Within our groove God brings people to us through the path that we’re on. Within our groove true passion and genuine love is evident.
So what’s your groove?
Where has God led you?
How has He used you to bring others to Him?
What are your proven means to evangelism – not cold-calls and passing out tracts, but real, tangible relationship building, loving, caring compassionate, authentic evangelism?
Dear Salvation Army…what is your groove?
Dear Salvationist – Where is God leading you?
Who is He leading you to?
Something more for our Army world to ponder today.