Evangelism for those uncomfortable with it

There are many dirty words around. Often referred to by the first letter, there’s one word that Anglicans don’t like: The E word. Evangelism. Coming from an Anglican background, it’s something that I’ve never been comfortable with. the thought of going out there and telling someone why they should be a Christian is something that fills me with dread. Unfortunately for me, as I want to become an officer of the Salvation Army, this is something that I am going to have to get over.My officer gave a sermon on this topic on Sunday that really connected with me. She was preaching on the passage from John 4:1-42. She focused in on verse 39, “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.””

She talked about how the most effective evangelism these days are relational. You develop a relationship with someone, and at some point, you can naturally bring up faith. She talked about a story in Bill Hybel’s book, Just Walk Across the Room, where this Muslim Man would go to business parties, and generally just hung around for a bit, not talking to people. Then one day, he got approached by this man, who walked across the room and introduced himself. They talked about business, news, sports and eventually got onto faith. He was interested to know more about the Muslim faith, so he arranged to meet up with the Muslim man, and discuss more about it. Eventually, after many regular meetings, the topic eventually came to the Christian faith, and in time, he converted to Christianity.

I got a copy of Bill Hybel’s book, and am looking forward to reading it, and thinking about it, and applying it to my life – and of course, posting about my experiences with it.

What are your thoughts on evangelism? Does it fill you with dread like it does me, or are you out there all the time?

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Author: Ben Clapton

I'm an Officer in The Salvation Army, currently appointed with my wife as Corps Officers at the Rochester Corps in country Victoria (20 minutes out of Echuca). I play violin and guitar, amongst many others, and love golf and running.

1 thought on “Evangelism for those uncomfortable with it”

  1. Good stuff, Ben. I reckon the relational approach is vital. But it should be a no-strings-attached approach to friendship. Eg Missionary Dating – dating people just so that you can “win them to the Lord” etc.

    I wonder if the Bill Hybels story would have still been a good one if the Muslim man had not actually converted, but had come to understand something new about Christians that helped him not see that they were the enemy. Would that have been evangelism, too?

    I know the E word has a bad name in some places, but I still find it really hard to fine examples, let alone doing it myself, of people who do it with authenticity, rather than using emotional blackmail or other manipulative behaviours.

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