The Skinny on Evangelism Devotional

Read This: “But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess. Yet do it with courtesy and respect, keeping a good conscience, so that those who slander your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame when they accuse you.” (1 Peter 3:15-16)

Think: Walking the crowded streets of London a few years back, I remember a guy who stood out among the shoppers zealously scrambling for after-Christmas deals and steals. He was hard to miss standing on a wooden crate in front of a poorly constructed cross at the busiest intersection in the district. The posters strapped to either side of him read “Repent or be Damned” and “Judgment Day is Near.” He read select chapters of Isaiah and Revelations with a megaphone in one hand and a Bible in the other. Watching him, and those stuck beside him waiting to cross the street, I was both embarrassed and convicted. While his approach seemed lacking from where I stood, the reality is that most of those people probably were going to hell and at least he was trying to do something about it.

There are entire classes, seminars, books, and all sorts of paraphernalia designed to help us share Christ accurately and effectively. For those bold enough to try, say, the evangecube, it can be tempting to think that if we just say the right things in the right order we will be leading someone in the sinners prayer in 15 to 20 minutes. It’s equally tempting for those who don’t have the “gift of evangelism” to simply go through life just being really nice—perhaps in hopes that someday someone will knock on their door begging for the gospel.

Clearly there’s nothing wrong with the evangecube or being really nice to people. The fault comes when we begin relying on a formula instead of the Holy Spirit’s leading. Maybe that means taking a break from the script on the back of the tract to really listen to a person’s life journey. Or maybe we take a few moments to explain that our kindness is a reflection of God’s compassion for the world. Out of love for the lost we should want to share in way people are willing to listen. Getting into arguments or skirt tailing big questions with oversimplified answers frustrates people who are desperate for truth but all too willing to give up looking for it.

Sharing our faith is an act of obedience and a spiritual discipline. While it certainly comes easier to some than others, we all should look forward to building relationships with non-believers and speaking truth into their lives whenever the opportunity arises. Maybe it’s a lifelong process with a family member, maybe a two hour plane ride beside a stranger. It doesn’t matter how long it takes or how well we know the person. We don’t evangelize to gloat that we led someone to Christ—we do it because it is our privilege to be part of the work God is already doing in someone’s heart.

Ask: Spend some time thinking about how you share Christ with others. What are some ways you can be more proactive with people in your life now? How can you broaden your circle of influence to include more unbelievers?

Pray: Ask God to give you sincere love for unbelievers and open your eyes to opportunities to share your faith in big and small ways.

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