by April Terry (personal blog http://faithwarming.blogspot.com)
If I could boil down my thoughts about evangelism to two words, it would be “just relax.” We Christians get too wrapped up in trying to get the word out about Jesus. We wrap ourselves up in a Christian blanket, speaking Christianese, and hanging exclusively with other Christians and then when we see a bonafide, non-believer, we can sometimes get downright aggressive.
I’ve experienced it myself. I find myself going overboard. At any moment, a conversation about faith might cause me to start overexplaining or oversharing . I could find myself doing more talking than listening when that happens, and then I often see the eyes start to glaze and realize that I have done it again and that it’s time to stop and listen. I have to fight my natural tendency to force God into the conversation.
What I want to avoid is being an obstacle to someone’s faith. I don’t want to be the reason that someone walks away from Jesus shaking their head. I want to be a part of the reason that people are attracted to God and what a difference He makes in our lives. It’s in our lives that God is the most evident and where He shines His light the most.
Truth is, all of us respond better to people who are relaxed. Those kinds of people make us feel safe and comfortable. God can do a lot through someone whose faith comes through them naturally and unforced. The moments when we are the most ourselves are the moments that are the most meaningful to others.
I’ve noticed that some Christians are more interested in getting someone to attend their church then they really are interested in someone getting to know Jesus Christ. For many Christians, it is the same thing, but to me and to others like me, it isn’t the same thing. Sometimes, when I get to know other people, I suggest other churches to them because there is an aspect of that church that I think would be compatible for that person. I have become a kind of matchmaker for churches because I have attended a lot of different churches in my area. I think everyone should attend a new church once a month so that they can experience what it is like for a visitor. In doing so, most people will find out that God shows up in a lot of different churches in a lot of different ways. I always find myself getting uncomfortable when someone starts a sentence with, “my church” and I know that I’m not alone in that.
When I sit back and relax, God gets to take over and I get to be His copilot. God’s plans are always superior to my own, and there is a gentle understanding between me and the Lord that if I let Him be God, I get to cooperate in the beautiful sending of His message. So, in a sense, it takes faith to let God be the evangelist. It takes a humble awareness of God’s power and glory to realize that nothing I do or say will make a difference without the Holy Spirit’s involvement first.
August 12th, 2013 · No Comments
Categories: DE Thoughts