How do you *feel* about evangelism?

(Carson Weitnauer) #1

Hi friends,

Out of curiosity, what are some of the feelings that you have about evangelism?

Is there a sense of interest and anticipation of what God will do? A peaceful trust in God’s provision and a trust that the Holy Spirit is at work? An acceptance of the other person as they are and a delight in what you learn about them?

Or is there an annoyance that they don’t see the evidence for Christ as being particularly interesting or persuasive? A mood of disapproval for how they think and live? A fear of rejection and failure?

It would be interesting to hear how we each feel about evangelism - and perhaps some of the stories or circumstances behind our attitude towards spiritual conversations.

(Omar Rushlive Lozada Arellano) #2

Hi @CarsonWeitnauer.

I remember before that I am having feelings about me bothering other people and making them feel uncomfortable when it comes to evangelism. I was rebuked when I came to realize the reality of God’s judgment. If someone I love is going to be hit by a truck, I don’t think about them being uncomfortable or bothered. I ought to tackle them. I need to make sure I get them out of the way.

When I get a chance to have a spiritual conversation, or sharing the gospel, I trust in God’s provision and sovereignty, that He is at work. That whatever we talked about, God will use it somehow in the grand scheme of His plans. I don’t force something or share as if everything depended on me. I only do what I believe is my part on a certain scenario.

Regarding acceptance of other people, it took time for me before I learned to treat people who disagree as people with intrinsic worth. I remember a period that I really feel super superior compared with people who do not believe. I praise God that He changed me, and I am able to learn to accept the other person and also not feel superior towards them.

I do still have a mood of disapproval on how people think and live. Regarding annoyance who don’t see the evidence, I guess I don’t feel this more towards another person who do not believe. I remember some people I see who insist on self-contradictory beliefs, and instead of being annoyed, I feel like they became some sort of person who humor me in some way. Currently, I feel this annoyance more with some fellow Christians who don’t agree with me on a non-essential issue.

(Tim Behan) #3

Great question Carson.

For me I have some concrete “head-knowledge”… I know that the Lord is sovereign over all things and will open up the hearts of those he wishes to. Which is a great thing to know…

But sometimes (maybe even a lot or most of the time) I still tend to feel pretty anxious about the whole thing. I really love speaking about the Lord and listening and sharing in these discussions. But I still worry about saying the wrong thing and putting them off permanently. On occasion I still get frustrated that I can’t ‘convince’ the person I’m speaking with of the truth of the gospel. And I definitely am still hesitant and nervous when discussions come up that might be uncomfortable or where I might be heavily in the minority.

So there is the battle going on between what I know and what I feel. I understand that it is the Holy Spirit that changes peoples hearts and I definitely trust in that… but those pesky emotions still take hold sometimes.

But I can’t stop because this is what we’re about, isn’t it? People must hear the good news!!

I pray for all of us that God works through whatever we do to bring glory to his name.

(Brittany Bowman) #4

I feel deep humility. Luke 19:40 has been my recent inspiration, "‘I tell you,’ he replied, ‘if they keep quiet the stones will cry out.’ I have had some disappointing failures in witnessing, and looking back I realize a large part of my failure was because I was trying to save based on my own effort. God doesn’t need me specifically to witness. I think He loves each person enough to not entrust their eternal destiny in the hands of another flawed human being. Rather, He allows us to witness because it is an opportunity for us to draw closer to Him and realize how He also pursued us through Christ. The more I study, pray, practice, and network with other believers, the more I mature as a Christian. God uses the opportunity to witness as a threefold blessing: sinners are saved, Christians mature in their walk, and both the witness and the one who is witnessed to are reminded of the analogy of how Jesus recently and sacrificially pursued a sinful human race. When I fail to witness from my own selfish interests, it is most definitely a sin. However, it is also a sin to pretend like it is my willpower, rather than the Holy Spirit, that saves the lost because that distracts from our omnipotent God. This humility therefore requires me to check in almost incessantly with God through prayer, and the deeper relationship this trust has cultivated in me an indescribable joy, which is a gift I can in turn share with others as I witness. If I want to convince someone they can only be saved through grace they cannot earn, I must remember also gives me this grace through the opportunity to witness.