“How are you and God doing?” Evangelism is spreading the gospel. That question has opened more conversations for me than any other when I’m sharing Jesus with strangers and friends alike. It is extremely open ended and gives people a chance to share who their God is – maybe not Christian, maybe none at all – and what that relationship looks like.
That question might look like the place where Evangelism starts for me, but there is more to it. If the person is a complete stranger, maybe that’s the only chance I get this side of the grave, but normally there is something else that starts the relationship. Most of the time at Star of Bethlehem, the person or family has been attending one of our community outreach events. We just held our annual trunk or treat. It’s possible they came through our Moms and Tots program. A friend could have invited them to worship with us. However it happens, alot of evangelism, is what some call pre-Evangelism. We make a bridge and then Jesus walk over it through our witness.
So there is that moment. You’ve been praying about it, lost sleep over it, maybe you bothered to set up a meeting. You share your Savior. What exactly happens? Does the sky open up and a ray of sun shine fall on the person’s heart now glowing with the Holy Spirit? Probably not. You most likely won’t see anything. When the wind blows, depending on the force, can you always notice it? This time of year the leaves get crinkly and rustle in the wind, but in the spring the leaves are soft and new and might not make a sound. God the Holy Spirit has promised to use your witness, as simple or elaborate as you make it, but he hasn’t promised more than that. There are no constraints on the amount of time he might take. Maybe you’ll have to spend years talking about Jesus with a friend or loved one.
It can be frustrating on the back end of a witness because we can’t make people believe anything. Know that this is good. The success and the failure of gospel ministry is too great for you or me. This is God’s church, I just work there. All he calls me to do is to be faithful with his means of grace and he will be faithful with his Spirit.
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