Hi Stuart, what have you found to be effective in ‘waking people up’ to the excitement and joy of evangelism? What do you typically recommend people do as ‘first steps’ in becoming prepared to share their faith?
Evangelism is scary to many as they see it as an obligation they may struggle with and because of possible discomfort with engaging people in what seems controversial issues. The fear factor. I note the passion and enthusiasm of new converts. why are they so eager to share? First, it is because they know it is true and real and it has changed their lives. Second, because they want others to know and experience God. It is not just to know forgiveness or join a church. It is to discover the Source of life and indeed what Life really is and means!
It has to begin in worship but then in compassion, it must lead to seeing people as they are before God and struggling in life and with life. Talking to people, listening, hearing their pains and issues, is a good way to open us to their need and God’s provision. As long as we are isolated and untouched by others sorrow and needs, we will have little or no compassion or desire to be involved.
People are interesting. They like to talk and they love to talk about themselves. Conversation and interest is a normal way to begin the process of discovery. What we hear invites prayer and compassion. The Holy Spirit will lead us and often provide unique opportunities for us.
I remember sharing with one group about dealing with our own fear and hesitancy. I suggested we let our imagination run a bit. We imagine we are “stealth agents” in our community. We ask God for our assignment. We go to work or public spaces on the alert, asking God for “Divine appointments” and we keep our eyes and ears open. Then we wait and watch. I think this is one way to experience God’s leadership and to enter the joy of unexpected encounters.
Just some thoughts.
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