“But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for the reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.
~1 Peter 3:15
From Caleb –
So, last time I talked about why we need to start conversations about salvation with other people, but I also gave some simple ways to practice doing that. In this blog post, I want to pick up where I left off. I’m going to talk about how evangelism has changed and, because of that, so should our mind set. Let’s go through some key things to remember as the style of evangelism necessary changes.
1. Evangelism is not the first step…
Now a days, you can’t just sit down with your friend and be like “Yo. Have you heard of Jesus? Here’s why you should follow him! Let me take you through the ABCs or Romans Road!”. Could you do that…? I mean… yeah. You can. But it is not advised.
When you start a conversation off like this, it is often a major turn-off to the Gospel. How many times did Jesus in the New Testament walk up to people and just start by telling them how he was the hope for all man kind? None.
How did Jesus do it?
Jesus found ways to connect the Gospel to the things people were going through and what their situation was. The most classic example of this is Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. Jesus talked about how when she drinks from the water in the well she will always become thirsty once again. Then, Jesus says, “but if you drink from Living Water you will thirst no more”.
The woman was perplexed at first asking, “Will you give me this water?”, but the woman quickly discovered the truth, Jesus was the living water he was referring to. The woman then went on rejoicing and telling everyone she knew about what had happened and how the Messiah had come.
2. They’re people too…
This is one of the biggest things to remember as you enter into a conversation with someone that you know you want to share the Gospel with; it seems kind of silly, but let me explain.
Once we make the decision in our minds to share the Gospel with a particular person, we start being little-box-checkers! Then, all that’s on your mind is “how can I talk about God?”. Well… THAT’S GREAT! But… Allow me to explain why it isn’t.
If you turn them into a box to check, all you’re worried about is saying “Jesus died for you!”. That’s great, but only if you are presently caring about them, sympathizing with them, and connecting with them.
People can sense the difference between having a conversation and simply trying to “convert” someone. Our goal is to do point #1. The Gospel message should be something that is so prevalent in our hearts that we can’t help but connect it to the circumstances we, and others, are in.
If you fail to care about what a person is going through and having a conversation with them, the Gospel will lose its effectiveness because the person will just ignore what you’re saying. You’re there to have a CONVERSATION not a PRESENTATION.
3. Apologetics + Evangelism = …
These two things added together equal what I am gonna call “Evangoletics”. Meaning, in this day and age, both are required to be ready when it comes to effectively communicating the Gospel.
Our goal at first is sharing Gospel and telling of the great sacrifice that Jesus had made for all people to cover their sins by the shedding of his blood. However, people have a lot of questions, and the culture we live in doubts the Bible. People think there’s no way it could possibly be true.
With people doubting the Bible, there are many questions and arguments people make against Christianity; this requires us to be ready to give an answer. This means we should have answers to peoples questions on things like abortion, homosexuality, transgender decisions, evolution, the Bible, and basic Christian doctrine.
Knowing atleast a little bit of those topics will go a long way in sharing and communicating the Gospel effectively to the people around us. I know the thought of needing an understanding of these things is overwhelming, but the good thing is, YOU CAN START SMALL! Everyone has to start somewhere; you can start learning at any time! It’s never to late to start, let that day be today!