Evangelism is a big word. If you’re around my age, this is probably what you think of:
Or maybe this:
Churches have gotten pretty creative in how they spread the “good news”…
Some get straight to the point:
I also think of my friends, David & Liney Chacko with Global Renewal Ministries* who are changing the world through localized training centers, anti-human trafficking and community relief and development.
Another friend, James Mathews and his team at Elevate X* are employing a different strategy for evangelizing – using music and sports to reach people who may not be interested in hearing a sermon, but get to see it lived out.
I don’t know about you, but when I think of evangelism, there is something that is usually missing…
But here’s the thing about the Great Commission… Jesus didn’t specify that the only ones who should do this are Billy Graham, David & Liney Chacko, James Mathews and people who have access to the church billboard signs.
It was meant for me. And for you.
Confession: I am not one of those people who is able to stand on a street corner in Texas and say “If you think it’s hot here…”. But thankfully, I don’t think that’s what Jesus had in mind either.
Yes, there is a time and place for people to come to an understanding of this very important decision they must make. But before that, how can we open the door like the Samaritan woman did and say “Come & see…”?
At my church this past Sunday (shout out to Covenant Church in Carrollton, Texas), our young adults director, Ryan Leak, gave an amazing message* of the simplicity of evangelism. And he issued this challenge:
Ask every single person that serves you…waiters, baristas, cashiers at the store, etc….
“Is there anything I can pray for?”
Jesus, in certain situations, used this approach. He responded to people that came across His path…
“What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51)
He took care of their need first.
So, this past Sunday, I tried it.
The first person I asked, a young girl at a clothing store (whose name is Destiny – oh, the irony) looked relieved and welcomed the prayers. That also gave me the opportunity to speak something over her life that I saw in her.
The waiter at the restaurant that evening looked surprised but answered my question without protest. So, as my friends and I prayed for our dinner, we prayed for our waiter and his need too. (Then I also gave him a good tip because Christians should do that too).
Your next thought may be…but you didn’t tell them about Jesus directly! And you are right. But I know in my heart, that in that brief moment I had with them, I planted a seed.
And when they start to see their prayers answered, I believe they will remember when a random Indian girl asked them a simple question…
Ryan Leak told the church that day to imagine if everyone in the sanctuary asked this simple question to every server we came in contact with (because you know Christians like to go out to eat too). In a room with a couple of thousand people x multiple services, how many thousands of lives could be impacted in our city?
Imagine if everyone who read this blog did the same thing. Then, it wouldn’t just be Dallas that is impacted. It would be your hometown. At your Starbucks. Or your Walmart. Or just wherever you are.
One question that might change one life with the potential to impact many more lives.
And it could start with me and with you. Let’s “go”. ~Anu
*Sermon “Make it Personal – How Has God Called You to Live” by Ryan Leak: http://www.covenantcarrollton.org/media#