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Monday, April 20, 2009

On Evangelism

This is something I know little about, and don't profess to be good at doing.

Why?

It's uncomfortable.

It's easy to say it's for "other" people to do.

I don't want to be "weird" like America perceives the church to be.

I don't want to make someone else uncomfortable.

I don't know what my story is exactly.

What??

To write it is a little shameful and shocking. What do you think of when you hear the word Evangelism?

Exactly.

I picture loud and in-your-face tv preachers, door-to-door knockers, or people who give a "track" for a tip at a restaurant, on the one side. On the other side I picture the gentle loving missionaries in other countries who are generally warmly received with their message of hope, love, and a faith in a relational God: Jesus.

Now me: Hmmm...American, busy, too busy to talk to my neighbors much, too shy to talk to a stranger in a store, too judgmental of the churches ways of doing things poorly, too insecure in who I am as a Believer.

This isn't a condemnation note. I've just been really inspired by some of the sermons that have been given at my church these last 3 weeks. I love my church. My pastor is really good at not just teaching, but motivating people to get out of their comfy seats and do something to share Jesus. Why? Because we all need Him.

I'd love for you to hear these messages too. Not that I need to make any disclaimers, but they aren't weird, or loud, or abrasive, or condeming. They aren't messages that you'll hear in most churches. On Easter Sunday, 3 different testimonies of God's saving power were given, and they weren't the typical kind you're used to hearing (if you're used to hearing any). They are refreshing. http://www.bctulsa.com/uploads/2009.html You can do podcasts, or go into MP3 downloads for the archives of the messages. April 5, 12, 19 are the dates. This being Monday, I doubt yesterday's message is there yet. But, so worth it if it is. We had a guest speaker: Adam Cox (I think), the head of 24-7 prayer in Kansas City. (Go to http://24-7prayer.com/ if you're interested in that movement. Our church is a big part of it as well.) He's younger than us, and not a life-long church-goer. I kind of thought I was watching a youth pastor at first, but his message was so sweet and meaningful, and a shock to my expectations.

So, I'm still thinking on what this means for me.

I definitely need to think through my story. I love Jesus. I do. We couldn't have made it through the last 6 months, or even the last couple of years with any sense of hope or strength without Him. There's a story in there, I just need words to go with it.

Be encouraged. You have a story too. I'd love to hear it.

Addendum: A friend of mine from church summed it up much more eloquently. It's a good/inspiring read. http://geidlbots.blogspot.com/2009/04/witness.html

5 comments:

Geidlbots said...

I've been really motivated and encouraged and inspired by the teaching for the last three weeks as well. I've got a lot of thoughts swirling both in my head and my spirit. Look for a post in the near future...there's one a brewin'.

Greg Ryan said...

How about praying for people you know that do not have a relationship with Jesus, then wearing something that would get them to ask you about Jesus... That is what we do at http://www.wearchristianclothing.com

It is easy and you can do your best for Christ just living your life. You don't have to wear our clothes but think about something you could do to get them to ask you.

Much easier witnessing style and more Biblical too, I don't every remember reading where Jesus went door to door or confronted Unbelievers.

Thanks for the post, it reminded me of where I was 5 years ago.

Anjanette said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Greg Ryan said...

Hi Amanda,

Was not trying to advertise just found you and was quite sure you did not know I was alive either. Was only using our website as a reference point. (Still not sure about all this linking stuff)

I agree most Christian t-shirts are more like billboards advertising, "I have Jesus and you do not." (I am painting with a very broad brush) May have had a couple I would wear around the house.

We have based our company on the Bible and specifically Revelation 12:11, The Blood, your testimony and a sacrificial life style.

Our method is Prayer, Wear and Share. The whole idea is to pray for people in your life that you suspect may not have a personal relationship with Jesus. Wear our logo when you know you may come in contact with the people you are praying for. Share your testimony or a tract that comes with the purchase of any of our clothes.

In the 4 years I have worn this logo I have handed out 100's of tracts and talked to countless people about Jesus. Almost everyone I talked to asked me first about the logo. They started the conversation with a question, "What is that?"

I believe personal evangelism (you can read personal responsibility) is not taught in churches enough. I do have a blog where I have started to explain this a little. (not going to include it here)

I really am new at all this and kind of wanted to enter into a conversation on evangelism. I am sorry if we got off on the wrong foot, I can sometimes come across a little abrasive. Limited time so I try to get to the point but some times that is not taken well without a proper introduction. (I will do my best to listen to the podcasts, should have done that before posting)

I love Jesus and want everyone to have what I do. Thank you for being kind and not blasting me.

Anjanette said...

Well, that makes more sense Greg. I often get to the point and leave out other well-meaning thoughts too.

I saw your site and I can see how the logos would be question-provoking. I pray blessing on your ministry.

Sorry I if I reacted strongly. After looking at your site, it wasn't what I expected at all, so I judged too quickly. Conversations about evangelism are needed. I am truly in a "challenged and motivated" state personally, so feel excited to try to reach out in practical ways.

One to laugh at, last night I was at a store and there were two older ladies in front of me who were taking a REALLY long time, and neither one seemed to want to put their bags in the cart. So, I got out of my comfort zone and asked if I could help...just trying to show love, you know? The lady quickly yelled at me, and let me know that was NOT ok. :-) I had to laugh. It was still the kind thing to offer, just not well-received.

These are the risks I'm going to try to make more of....