Evangelism always seems impossible05 Sep 2017
When we head outside to share the good news, it can often seem impossible. We walk into some neighborhood, park, or shopping mall, and we can’t imagine how on earth we’re going to find anyone who will want to talk to us, let alone have a good conversation about Jesus.
Our minds quickly rack up a bunch of reasons why it won’t work today, at least not in this place. “There’s no-one out here today.” “I have no connections.” “I don’t have a good reason to be here, and people will be creeped out.” “I’m not feeling very good.” “I’d better just go home.”
(Of course the enemy is always trying to discourage us from doing evangelism.)
But if we’re filled with a compassion and patience that comes from Jesus, we can push through all these natural feelings and persevere to see some supernatural, wonderful things.
It might take a few hours of wandering, praying, and failed attempts at chatting with strangers. Give it time. When you least expect it, one little interaction will lead to another, and you’ll find yourself somehow sitting with some lost person you just met, talking for hours about Jesus, our need for salvation, and the good news.
It’s always so surprising and thrilling to see how God opens these doors. I often go out tired and discouraged, thinking nothing will happen. But then, as surprising opportunities do open up to share the good news I come back invigorated, almost skipping with joy.
When we head out there, we realize that God is actually working with us to move people around and introduce us to the right people at the right time. In an unreached place where there’s only 1 believer for every 100,000, can you imagine how eager our Father is to help us get the word out?
I’ve been doing this for the last 8 years, and I’m constantly encouraged and reminded of this. And yet, after seeing him miraculously provide incredible evangelism opportunities day after day after day, it still often feels impossible when I head out my door. Most days, I still have to stir up my faith to get over all the overwhelming feelings of “nothing will happen today.”
The more we get out there and mix with the lost, the more we do learn about how to talk to people, where to find good conversations, and how the culture works. We do learn and grow and in some ways ‘get better’ and doing evangelism. But ultimately, this is not a work that we can plan or produce. It’s not a technique that we can master. It’s the Lord that connects and provides the platforms or tea tables for us to meet people. It’s the Lord that introduces us to hungry hearts. We just need to make ourselves available to be used, day after day.
Forget numbers, measurables, strategy, and techniques. There’s no pressure to perform. Just make sure you’re meeting with the Lord in prayer, and maintaining an open heart and listening ear. Then you can go out with a joyful expectation of seeing what the Lord can do with time you give to him.
There’s a lot of wisdom in this conversation that Humans of New York had:
Mary is 93 years old. We spoke for less than two minutes. After I took her photo, she said: “If you force yourself to go outside, something wonderful always happens!” New life motto.