It seems the days of churches doing visitation and door-to-door contacts is over. In today’s world, I’d be surprised to see one or two doors open to a stranger who “just wants to talk to the homeowner about their faith.” At times, I fear the church is guilty of showing up before the unchurched armed with memorized verses and clever arguments. I fear that we have focused on winning debates and arguments, but not souls.
Jesus is the best example we have for evangelism. In John 4, we see Jesus meet with the woman at the well. She was not someone who was well-versed in Scripture. She wasn’t even someone of upstanding moral character. Yet, Jesus did not condemn her; He reached out to her. He showed us how to be a stairway, not a stumbling block – how to be a bridge instead of a barrier to people coming to Christ.
Our evangelism strategy should be summed up in who Jesus was – “the friend of sinners.” Jesus’ meeting with this woman in Samaria was not on the way to where He was going. In fact, it was quite out of the way. Jesus approached this woman humbly: “Can I have a drink of water?” I pray that we will approach those who do not know Jesus yet just as humbly. Jesus offered this woman a greater opportunity: to have living water.
Over and over again, Jesus shows us how to humbly teach the Gospel without condemnation and without a holier-than-thou attitude. Jesus didn’t go into a grand monologue, but simply sought to have a conversation – to build a relationship. Jesus engaged people. Even if the person did not respond to the message, Jesus sought to share it with grace through a relationship with that person. I pray that we will follow suit as we engage those we know with the gospel as friends of sinners. Jesus did not teach the gospel in the same way to every person, but sought to connect with them and meet them where they are.
This post was adapted from Tell Someone by Greg Laurie. Greg is the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside and Irvine California. Greg is also the leader of the public evangelistic events called Harvest Crusades. Through these events, more than 439,900 people have registered professions of faith! Tell Someone is not a condemnation for those who have not been actively engaged in sharing the gospel, but instead is an encouragement and inspiration to all. This book tells of both his failures and successes, and is a great story of God’s work!
Check out an excerpt of Tell Someone here.