Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I was having a conversation with someone yesterday about “witnessing.”  I’ve written about the 4 spiritual laws and the Roman Road and my feelings about these tactics before.  I guess if they work for you that’s awesome.  If it brings someone to a knowledge of Jesus, I’m all for it.

In this conversation we determined that some people are just more gifted in this area.  I had a pastor one time that was like that.  Every Sunday it seemed there’d be someone new sitting in the pew.  It was someone he met at the post office or grocery store, or stood next to in line at McDonalds.  He saw these routine activities as soul fishing trips.  Being a Pentecostal pastor if he could, he’d get his new convert in his car before it was over and have you speaking in tongues.  If not, by Sunday night service they were.  It was his gift.  It is not a gift I have.

Now some of you may feel that’s a cop out.  Maybe it is, but I am uncharacteristic of the female gender, I don’t even like to ask for directions when I’m lost.  Put me in front of a group of people and I’m fine.  One-on-one, I can struggle.

I don’t struggle so much with this issue of witnessing or evangelism anymore.  I’ve learned it is not so much what you say but how you live.  It’s about the everyday mundane things of life.  Jesus’ ministry was less about what He said but what He did.  Even more important was the essence of who He is, His “being.”

This past summer I spent eight days living in a college dorm as I began my doctoral degree.  Rather than   Math or Science, we studied Personal Leadership.  One of the phrases we pondered was “to be rather than to seem.”   

I know some abrasive opinionated people.  I’ve been tempted to shut them out of my life.  At times I’ve thought, I don’t need this and ask myself, why bother?  But then I think of the pain I know they’ve had in their life.  I think of why they are abrasive.  I decide and chose to love them.  I get that same nudge that David talked about yesterday in his blog.  That nudge of the Holy Spirit that says love them.  And I do.  I truly love them. 

For me, that’s witnessing.  For me, that’s how I share my life in Christ.  I love.  As I do, I see them as Jesus would see them.  I see them as a fellow broken human being.  I see their scars and still unhealed wounds.  It humbles me and makes me love even more. 

Whose wounds would Jesus have you touch?  Who do you need to love like Jesus would love them? 

Maybe I missed the topic completely, but that’s what’s on my heart this morning.


Liz Kay said...

Joyce, I love you. Thanks for 'being' and not just 'seeming' -- keep on witnessing His love to the world, and to those who are not so easy to love.

Tracy said...

For what it's worth, I don't think you missed the topic at all. Love is at the center of the gospel. May we truly be people whom God loves through, that others would be drawn to Him through us.

David said...

Our 'witness' is the life we lead. it is the peace that we have, the service that we give, the things we say - and how we say them, oh and the things we don't say.

Evangelism is a gift. It needs to be taught, caught and we need to know when to quote scriptures.

If you read my account, I didn't quote any scripture; I followed the Holy Spirit as best I could. It was this man's time.

I have been pretty close to 100% successful in evangelism because I view my witness as helping the people I need make another step closer to Jesus. For some that is clinching the deal, for others it is opening the door to thinking about a life in Christ - and for others it is turning their salvation into a destiny.

Thanks for sharing Joyce!

Joyce Lighari said...

I agree to a point that evangelism can be taught. However, I think the key to any evangelism is the leading of the Holy Spirit - I am sure you agree with me on that one! If you don't, I don't know you like I think I do :-).
Where I personally have a problem with teaching evangelism is that it becomes gimmicky. Almost like a script with no real personal involvement. I know that's not what we are talking about here nor would it be something any of us KBers would do - but I've sure seen it.
You probably don't remember the "I Found It" bumper stickers of the mid-70's with the "one way" finger gesture with the pointer finger to counteract other finger gestures. That was just downright gimmicky!
We can do so much better than that - we can be like Jesus who I don't think ever had a marketing person. :)
Sorry, I should stay off my soapbox.

DeAnnH said...

I have struggled with the fact that I do not have the gift of evangelism. In fact, many of the classic evangelism frameworks would have offended me greatly if anyone had used them on me. It seems that "friendship evangelism" was the successful technique for me.

For those gifted in evangelism, it doesn't seem like it matters what technique they use - the gift just carries them!

The bottom line is that we are called to be witnesses - to tell "what happened to me," and that ought to be something we can all do.