Last time we looked at the need of prayer and I cannot over emphasise that. Today I want us to see what evangelism actually is.
“You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.”John 15:16 (NLT)
Again, the call for every believer is to evangelise.
Now I fully accept that not every person is comfortable with doing evangelism, in fact not every person is comfortable with the word evangelism, and for many the very thought of it sends a shudder up their spine.
Actually, this would be a fairly normal reaction for most.
I remember when I was first challenged to share my faith. It really scared me. How would I ever tell someone about Jesus, where would I even start. All these thoughts were going through my head, and I could certainly never imagine doing it. A friend encouraged me to try and suggested I start with my next-door neighbour.
So, I decided I would start with a neighbour, but which one?
To the one side of me lived a fairly lively robust man and his wife, who liked to party. To the other side lived a lovely elderly couple who were very gentle in nature and lovely to talk to. Guess who I went for?
Yes, your right, of course I went for the older couple, a safer option I thought.
So, after getting myself geared up for it, one evening I set off to their door.
I knocked the door and secretly prayed that they would be out, but no, I saw Margaret come to the door and I got myself ready.
She opened the door and immediately I shouted, and yes I mean shouted, “Margaret you need to be saved!!”.
Now although this statement was true, it was delivered in totally the wrong way. As well as that, after this outburst I realised I had nothing left to say.
That was it, where do I go from here?
Margret smiled and took me by the elbow and led me into the living room.
Her husband Robert greeted me, and Margaret told him that Willis is here to tell us we need to be saved.
She realised I was a bit flustered and said that she would make me a cup of tea to put me at ease. The rest of the evening improved. They prompted me by asking questions. They knew I had been a party animal, and a heavy drinker, so they ask me how I had changed. It was a good night and I learned so much from the experience.
In fact, I was so blessed I decided that night I would learn more about this evangelism and do it again.
So yes, initially I was frightened and that is why I still understand that the thought of evangelism can scare people.
You will notice at the top of these articles I have the title ‘Telling Your Story’.
Let me explain this. After many years of being on the streets and training others to do the same, I saw that what we did was very simple.
We were talking to people and telling our story.
Telling how we met Jesus, telling people what Jesus had done in our lives.
As I worked with Christians, I noticed that when I used the word evangelism it scared people. But if I spoke about telling our story people were not frightened and were in fact put at ease.
So that is why from now on in these short notes I will refer to evangelism as Telling your story.
You will see the difference that it makes to you, and the way you think.
We have to be comfortable when we tell our story. If the person who we talk to is uncomfortable with us, the reason may be that they see that we are uncomfortable.
So back to basics.
- Pray before you go to speak to someone. Remember you are just a tool that God uses to spread His word.
- I think that it is important to try and build a relationship with the person you are meeting or talking to. Of course, this depends on the circumstances. Some outreaches may mean you only have one opportunity to talk with a person. But even in those circumstances you can build a relationship.
- Do not get into a fluster as I did with Margaret. Always keep your conversation simple and to the point.
Others are long term e.g a colleague or a friend, where you tell your story over a period of time.
We will look at different scenarios and methods in another section.
Ultimately our aim is to tell our story to as many people as we can, in whichever way we can.
Let’s learn all we can and tell our story as often as we can.
Written by Willis McDowell