How To Make Evangelism Less Awkward
Christians are weird. No one wants to be controlled by some invisible hardly understandable force. No one wants to be told what not to drink, what they can’t wear, and what music they can’t listen too. Women and other minorities especially don’t want to be dominated by some book that is interpreted to belittle them.
Evangelism is awkward. No one wants to stand on the street corner and interrupt people as they are walking by. I mean unless your enneagram is seven or eight it might not be that exciting. Literally all of the introverts reading this are clamming up.
Two ways we can make evangelism less awkward for everyone:
1. Products. Avoid giving away mass amounts of cheap products; you know… crap! (sorry-not-sorry)
If it doesn’t cost you, they don’t want it. If everyone gets one, it’s cool to no one, unless it’s a free car (with taxes & insurance paid). But we aren’t Oprah orMr. Beastso…
When you give something away, make sure it costs you and that it is meaningful to the individual you are giving it to as well. For example, is this person looking for a job? Give them a gift card to purchase a new shirt for their interview or help them build a resume. Is this person a mom? Send her flowers and a coffee! Is the person a neighbor? Drop off cookies or invite them over for dinner, just for fun and to build a friendship. Remember, Jesus left Heaven and then gave his life! There is nothing cheap about the cost of reaching an unbeliever!
2. Expectations. Avoid promising a certain kind of experience after someone becomes a Christian; unless you are telling them they probably won’t feel like anything changed and that they need to commit to a church community.
Everyone is at a different place when they become a Christ-follower, so to fabricate some kind of emotional rush or perfect life to follow is dangerous. Basically, to promise something that isn’t promised in the Word of God is dangerous. God will back up His word, but not our emotions or eloquent dialogue.
Let each conversation and experience be what it is. Encourage curiosity for the ways of God,pray for this person ahead of time, then talk to them about how you are blessed to be a Christian, or talk about why it’s hard to be a Christian but why it’s worth it. (Philippians 1:12-26)
When you evangelize plan to keep it simple. Evangelism is sharing the Gospel in two ways: 1) Through our communication and 2) Through our lifestyle.
Often we hear about people with the gift of evangelism tell their radical stories. I mean they arereally amazing, but I feel like I am doing it wrong when I hear them preaching about how amazing that “one time” was. Like this story for example:
One lady was at a grocery store standing behind another gal at the check out line. God spoke to the evangelist, who then sparked a conversation with the gal who was purchasing her items. The evangelist said “Hi! This might sound crazy but God spoke to me, and he said you have an appointment tomorrow. And he wants you to know you don’t have to go through with it, and He loves you and He has a purpose for your life.” The gal in the check out line burst into tears, she was scheduled to have an abortion the next day and was scared of the procedure.
See, I don’t have these kinds of life-altering moments sharing my faith. No one’s cancer has been healed, no one has overcome their alcoholic addiction in that moment, or any other things like that. But since the beginning of their walk with Christ: whole families have become spirit-filled and Christ centered, marriages have been restored over time, and children, who otherwise would have grown up in an abusive home, are watching their parents live in a new found victory and doing the hard work of breaking generational habits for their babies and grand babies. All over a period of time!
To be honest, I don’t believe I have the gift of evangelism, however my passion for telling other people about God really began when I was in high school and hasn’t waned since. My story changes as I get older and because of the different tough seasons I am able to share different stories of God’s faithfulness depending on the kind of person I am witnessing to and where they are at in their life. This is key when evangelizing! Listen to what the Holy Spirit highlights about your relationship with God and what you know about God. You will find something special connects with the person you are talking to, and that will be the magnet the Holy Spirit uses to draw them into a new relationship with Jesus Christ.
What I think is absolutely crucial for any healthy Christian is the understanding of what God has done for them. Evangelism is awkward if you don’t understand what God has done for you, personally.
The biggest opportunity we have when it comes to evangelizing is how we live our lives. Sharing your story with your neighbor and just opening up about how being single is hard, how you have been abused in the past, or how living with an autoimmune disease is difficult, but then finishing saying that all of your success and healing has to do with reading the Bible regularly, and how faithful and good God is will draw attention!
Besides inviting people to be in our lives, we can plan to share the gospel through an intentional conversation with someone while pumping gas or when on lunch break with a co-worker, and I think we absolutely should! Practice what to say ahead of time if that makes it easier for you to start the conversation. Consider these two conversation starters:
(1) “Can I ask you a question?“ (Wait for response.)
“Do you believe in God?” (Be eager to learn and listen well.)
“What do you think about that?” (Listen more then lead into the conversation…)
“Well I have been think about God for a while and I really think that God is real because…” (Begin to share the God-moments in your life, the miracles, etc. Start talking about the goodness of God!)
(2) “Hey, quick question: Do you go to church? What do you think about it?“ (Be eager to learn, listen, respond to their opinions and experiences with care BUT don’t let their bad experiences scare you! Invite them to church or to your small group!)
“Hmmm, I’ve been going to church for a while and things have been changing for me. In my group of friends… “
(or say) “The pastor has been talking about…”
(or) “There is this one song we sing that…“ (continue about what great things God has done in your life and then when they respond with something like “thats cool” or “oh neat!” thats when you invite them!)
Like I mentioned above, no one wants to be controlled, but everyone wants to find true freedom and fulfillment in their lives. Instead of sharing judgements and rules, share your faith, the miracles, the breakthroughs, and your amazing God who loves you.
My friend, is there someone in your life that you are praying for to become a Christian? Reply in the comments and I’ll join you in prayer for them and their family! I’ll also be praying for YOU that you have a really obvious moment to boldly and kindly speak the truth of the Gospel, and that you will see fruit following that conversation.
Come one guys! Let’s tell the world about Jesus!!!
1 Peter 3:15 “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to anyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” (NIV)
2 Timothy 4:5 “But you keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist.” (NIV)
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are Christs handiwork created in Christ Jesus, to do good works with God prepared in advance for us to do.” (NIV)
Mark 16:15 “He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation.’” (NIV)
Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” (NIV)
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