My Question: best way to evangelize when you are in an environment surrounded by believers

Hi everyone,

What do you think is the best way to evangelize when you are in an environment surrounded by believers (at work and school) and have little experience with evangelism?

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Hi tsweaver! Thank you for your question. Just to clarity, were you speaking of believers or nonbelievers?

Thank you,
mb

Believers. I work for a para church ministry full time and am a part-time seminary student.

I always think prayer is the best starting point. Asking the Lord to lay on your heart anyone He wants you to befriend, pray for or minister to and then relying upon the Holy Spirit to guide you.

Another thing that I have found can be helpful is to ask questions of those to whom you are reaching out to. These do not have to be questions dealing with spiritual things, though they certainly can be. Sometimes the simplest questions can have the greatest impact. Asking questions is a great way to show people they are important, you are interested in them as a person, and modeling respect and humility that says, “I can learn something from you.”

Have you observed any gaps or needs within this para ministry that could use your specific giftedness from God to make it better, more solid and effective, or fruitful?

A favorite verse says, “The heart of the king is in the hands of the Lord and like the watercourse He channels it wherever He will.” Proverbs 21.1

I am praying that the Lord will channel your heart in the direction He would have it to go so that it results in your good and the good of others and brings glory to Jesus Christ.

Grace and peace,
mb

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Thank you, Mary Beth. I have been praying everyday for 5 non-believers I know, although I hardly come in contact with them and have trouble getting them to text me back and/or meet up with me.

The way the para church ministry works, it is centered on the gifting of the founder. My role is mainly to support him and raise money.

Thank you for your prayers.

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Hi TS,

Are you uncomfortable evangelizing in this environment?

You know, I’d say it’s the same way you evangelize around unbelievers because we just never really know the heart of someone, only God sees that. I am pretty sure that the believers around you would be very comfortable hearing your pray for and talk to the unbelievers on your heart.

Hi Peter,

The problem is not that I’m uncomfortable. It is that I do not have contact with unbelievers. I am only in contact with believers every day.

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Often believers go through times of doubt, and not everyone who thinks they are saved actually is. These can be opportunities for encouragement and evangelism. Nearby coffee shops can be excellent places to evangelize unbelievers if one is careful to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading and to customers’ verbal and non-verbal signals, e.g., don’t try to evangelize the couple in the middle of a breakup or the guy frantically pounding out the report he should have handed in to his boss or professor yesterday, and always ask permission to join someone before sitting down or initiating a sensitive conversation. Making friends first and finding common ground, when possible, before initiating an evangelistic attempt is much more likely to be both enjoyable and fruitful for both of you. Mary Beth’s comments about prayer, responding to God’s leading, and showing real respect and interest for the person were right on the money. (Well said, MB!) What is fatal is approaching people as if they are notches to be cut on your spiritual belt or projects/problems to be “fixed,” one of the countless ways I screwed up in my (truly awful) early evangelistic efforts.

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Good points Katherine. Thank you for your reply.

Hello
I have always seen speaking to believers especially in Evangelism is illustrating the true understanding of scripture. Being able to reaffirm a person’s understanding of being able to activly persue ‘the great commission’. In many instances the people who need to understand, practice are those in the church.
Evangelism of today is more a show of prosperity rather than the value of a soul. We need to speak the truth with love.

What I do is pick key topics:
Grace
Salvation
Sin
Condemnation
Judgement

Then once I have created the right mindset I test for practices and finally we hit the streets to speak to people and Evangelize.
This gives the members an opportunity to practically see the fruits of Evangelism. Once that’s done, its good to get them to speak on what they have seen personally and then allow them to use the gift should you see a spark for it.

Has worked although the most important part of this is to start with people the members are familiar with to build their confidence.

Thanks

@tsweaver

Hi tsweaver

After reading the bible it’s hard to believe that the straight and narrow is a smooth ride that doesn’t “rock the boat”. But I think that’s often how the Godly-good-nice-neat-and-sweet christian life is often portrayed.

I think there’s sometimes a mismatch going on in the perception of what the christian life looks like. Historically, Christians have navigated some pretty difficult environments. And Christian environments have issues too. I’m sure the great reformers and missionaries and martyrs would have much preferred to go with the flow and not “rock the boat” if they could have found it within themselves to follow that path.

I understand how the appearance of institutional environments (christian or non) show a well groomed and controlled atmosphere where all is well (even though all may not be as “well” as it’s portrayed). More often than not, individuals give the same sort of appearance. Dysfunctional families also hide behind this veil. I can’t be certain of your situation, but maybe it’s time for a wake up call: Maybe one of the not-so-shocking things to consider is that your christian classmates and christian environments also run the same cover-up-routine.

Maybe, if you want to evangelize, but God has not revealed to you where to go for this opportunity, maybe see if God will enable you to see the pain behind the “plastic” smiles in your existing christian environments. Maybe He will give you the wisdom to speak life and truth where it is lacking and to pour yourself into the not-so-obvious ministry opportunities which are sitting not-too-far from where you’re currently stationed "beneath the veil"of your existing christian environments.

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Amen, Timothy! What a terrific response. All too many Christians run around with a phony “Victory in Jesus” mask (Pastor Chuck Swindoll’s term) glued on to conceal their hurting hearts, struggles with sin and doubts about God’s will/love/providence. I did practicum training at a megachurch in Kentucky and quickly learned that many Christians are afraid to be known, even by other believers. Most think that all the other Christians “have their act together” and worry that these suspected paragons will think less of them if the mask is removed. How alien this way of thinking is to the Scriptural model of confessing our sins to one another and relying on one another for encouragement, prayer and edification–and how incompatible it is with true fellowship.

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This 2 part podcast by Stuart McAllister is really worth listening to. https://podcasts.google.com/?q=The%20Call%20To%20Be%20A%20Witness%20by%20Stuart%20McAllister