Monday, October 6, 2008

Evangelistic Opportunities

In the last post I mentioned three ways that we can engage people in evangelistic conversation. We should be opinionated (in the way that I described in the previous post), inquisitive and compassionate. Several good comments were added in response by others. Now, I want to think of a few ways that we can create opportunities for conversations about the gospel. We are around the unbelieving all the time, and if not we should make it a point to spend time with the unbeliever. The fact is that wherever we are we have the opportunity to evangelize, at work, at play and at church. Yes, even at church. Not everyone is converted there, and besides we ought to speak of God's word often with those at church.

At work we can, and I think, ought to evangelize. The mere fact that there may be consequences is not sufficient to excuse us, for it is not great than the commission from Christ. I don't mean to say that the consequences are not significant; they should be considered, but they are not more important than God's command. It should also be remembered that evangelizing those at work need not be all at once, but done gradually. It will come about that people will discuss what they believe and why, an opportunity is presented at that time. Share what you believe, and connect it to the gospel which is your reason. Gain their respect as much as possible be open to opportunities. Evangelism is not something that we do at a certain time and in certain places. Use the ideas discussed in the previous post at work.

The most basic idea I have for evangelism is to get involved in something that you are interested in where there will be unbelievers. Examples of this are abundant, I have heard of a pastor that joined a rowing team in order to evangelize, another person uses a book club and another befriends those on the bus. Do you like music? Join a music club. Do you like sports? Join a team, invite people over from work. Meet people with common interests and use that as a vehicle for creating opportunities for evangelistic conversations.

Another idea is to start evangelizing the people around you. Do you live in an apartment? Talk to your neighbors. Do you go out to eat? Become a regular at a local restaurant and befriend the workers. Be friendly.

Some less popular methods are still valid. Handing out tracts and preaching to groups. I recommend that the latter be done in an environment that facilitates this. Say in formal debates, in meetings and classrooms. If your a student, make it clear what the gospel is and correct the ignorance of unbelievers appropriately. I knew an RUF intern that regularly attended the UT atheist club meetings. There he made his belief known and made friendships with the people involved. By the end of the year they have decided to put on a debate to which atheists and rufers were invited. After the debate they went to eat and talk. Out of this I remember hearing of fruitful conversations. This is perhaps one of the best examples I know of evangelism. In regards to tract evangelism, the point is not so much to be effective in a singular moment, but to spread information about the truth as much as possible. It is basically advertising. Believe it or not people learn things form the media and its advertising. Advertising is an excellent way for us to spread the knowledge of the truth. Using brief, but well thought out arguments about christianity can be useful. Spread them around whether you talk to a person or not, it is likely that someone will ready it and learn something.

This are some ideas that I have thought about, though they are not entirely my own. I would like to mention a few things as a side note. Whenever we talk about evangelism, especially relationship evangelism it is important to remember that the way act and live is exceedingly important. It will show how much we really believe in Jesus and Love him. Our passion can be seen. It also means that part of setting a good example is being honest about our imperfection and sin. Believe it or not sinners will see us sin (they may hold it against us or think that it is okay), but rather that excuse ourselves or deny things, or stand proud or whatever we do, we should use it as an opportunity to explain the gospel. We are sinners, they are sinners and both need the forgiveness of Christ. Tell them about the promise of the Spirit who does his sanctifying work. We can not avoid unbelievers seeing us sin, so use it as an opportunity to explain the gospel when possible. Obviously that won't always be possible, but we must do what we can. And of course, remember that you should live as uprightly as possible because you love Christ and you will faithfully represent him in this way. We must not forget that representing christ in our action is not the gospel, and that it must be coupled with speaking the word of truth. Finally, I want to remind the reader of what has been on my heart. We will neither pursue nor see evangelistic opportunities, nor be ready with the gospel, nor able to set a good example if we are not in Prayer and bible study and most of all if we are not loving and dwelling on Christ as first and foremost in our lives.

I hope that these ideas are helpful to everyone. Let me know what you think, I really appreciated and enjoyed the comments that were made on the other post.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Keep it up. We need to have evangelism always on our mind. I like what you said about admitting our sins. Humility is very important. I think it is the right attitude to bring as we go into an evangelistic encounter. I also liked you points about being intentional. We have to be intentional. We want evangelism to actually be a part of our personality that is just comes naturally. However I think it has to also be developed and we have the responsibility to develop an evangelistic life. We need to be willing to be bold and to declare the necessity of faith and repentance to unbelievers. We need to pray earnestly for it (see Acts 4).