Monday, May 21, 2012

Can I Tell You Something?


Are you an evangelist? The word might strike fear in the hearts of many; some may make an excuse that they aren’t called to be an Evangelist or they say they’re style is more friendship evangelism – the only problem is many work on the friendship but leave out the evangelism.

The truth is, whether we like it or not, we have a responsible to a dying world to give them hope for a future. Those of us in a relationship with Jesus know how incredible and personal it is and everything we say and do should flow from that relationship. In him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28)

This week on Kingdom Bloggers we are sharing innovative ways to share the gospel Jesus preached, which is the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. How do you share the gospel message?    


*******

I offer reviews – on books, on products, on experiences. I write online or verbally offer my opinions. I’ve been known to butt my head into a conversation by strangers if I hear them making a consideration in a store of certain products I’m familiar with. I live with the philosophy, “If it’s good for me, it’s good for others.” Jesus is good for me, and I know he’s good for others.

The problem is many people have only heard about Jesus and they didn’t like the execution of the sales pitch, because it felt like a sales pitch. I don’t like to be preached at, and I don’t suppose others like it any better. That’s why I leave the convincing to the Holy Spirit, I simply create an atmosphere where the Holy Spirit is welcomed and leave the presentation to the man himself – Jesus.

I love outreach but my outreach is different in the past few years than it was previously. Before I would feel it was my job to make compelling arguments to convince the mind – Jesus wants to touch the heart. Change the heart and the attitudes change. It’s simple.

When Mormons or Jehovah Witnesses come to my door, I invite them in – not to debate but to develop a relationship. We establish that we are both people of faith and I invite them to share their testimony. I don’t debate, and I don’t go to Scripture (although I know Scripture, I am not trained as the young missionaries are to debate). When they have told me their testimony, then I can share my testimony. I never make them feel like “me vs. them”.

For example, the last time Mormons came to my house, I shared with them that I do what they do – street evangelism. At this point, they are still smiling. Then I start to explain I call them treasure hunts and I explain what they are. God gives me clues, such as names of people, or what they are wearing, and then I get words of knowledge about areas in their life that are difficult (physical or emotional pain). When I find the treasure God wants to touch, I approach them and start a conversation, asking them about the areas in their life the Lord showed me.

As I explain this, I am inclusive with the young missionaries and speak as if I assume they share my experiences. Of course they don’t and I start to see their smiles shift a little. It’s a beautiful thing because I know the Holy Spirit is at work. Then I ask if I can pray (and I have been given favour and grace to pray with some Jehovah Witnesses as well). I simply invite the Holy Spirit to touch them in the same way I feel and know the Holy Spirit.

I make it a habit – a lifestyle – to ask the Lord when I go out, who does he want to connect with and I keep my eye open, ready to act when the Holy Spirit prompts. When I see someone highlighted, my “pick-up line” is, “Hey there, I’m Andrea. Can I tell you something?” I’ve NEVER heard a no response to my question. When I’m given the go ahead, I proceed I encourage them with the words God gave me to share. Sometimes I pray, sometimes I don’t. I’ve been asked if I’m a psychic or if I’m reading their thoughts, and I simply tell them God loves them and knows them and I wanted to share something with them that will encourage them so I ask God who to look for and what to say.

I love to see how people are lit up because Jesus came near. And the best part is I don’t have to convince anyone, my job is to be a witness, not a sales person.

3 comments:

Kerry Luddy said...

Love this, Andrea. I don't consider evangelism as my area of strength, but I want to be more deliberately engaged. You have given me food for thought. Bless you!

Jeff Hoots said...

Andrea,
A key step you mentioned is how you invite your Mormon and Jehovah's Witness friends to go first. That is also my preferred way to start. That could take several forms, depending upon who. Ask about a Roman Catholic crucifix style cross someone is wearing. If you're really brave, ask about the Darwin sticker on their car. What if they don't ask back? That's part of it. We don't have to bring them to the cross every time, just maybe one step closer.

Andrea York said...

Thanks for the comments and affirmations.

Jesus doesn't need to be preached, he needs to be experienced. The rest will follow if we can prepare the way with grace and compassion.