Monday, April 12, 2010

Prince, Dating and Evangelism

Recently, I was involved in a discussion about door-to-door evangelism, and it got me thinking about why we share our faith in the most awkward ways possible. Let me be very straightforward; I don’t plan to ever schedule any door to door evangelism events. The truth is I hate it when religious proselytizers show up at my door. They interrupt whatever I’m doing, and they seem out of touch with the real world. When a guy in a white shirt and black tie shows up at my door I think, “Who are you to talk to me about my spiritual life. You don’t even know me.” Why would I want to associate myself with guys who are considered the worst Saturday bummer-inflictors of all time? I’ve done my share of “spontaneous” evangelism, and it has never worked out well. I’m uncomfortable, and they are uncomfortable. Drive-by evangelism in all its forms isn’t usually very effective. I believe this for 3 reasons:
1. It is creepy. Think about how you feel when a salesman or J-Dub (Jehovah’s Witness) comes to your door. That’s how people feel when you show up unannounced at theirs or when you introduce yourself by saying, “If you died today…” By the way, my friend Patrick says that Prince is a Jehovah’s Witness. While seeing him at your door would be more interesting than most J-Dubs, it would still be creepy (see below).

2. It gives me a reason to compartmentalize my life, separating witnessing from daily living. Witnessing should be a part of every relationship I have. If I set aside special “evangelism nights,” I tend to leave evangelism only to those nights.
3. The gospel is about relationship (God with man). When we share the gospel outside the context of relationship we are not only limiting our ability to communicate the full message of the gospel we are not living it either.

I’ve been thinking about why we put ourselves in uncomfortable evangelistic situations, and I’ve realized how much it is like dating. It is important to us, or we wouldn’t want to do it. And, it is best done in the context of relationship. I used to be so afraid of asking girls out. My nerves would get the best of me. It seemed like the less I knew the girl, the more uncomfortable we both were and the less likely she was to go out with me.

However, I realized something my senior year of college. The more comfortable I was with who I was and what I was asking, the more at ease the girl would be. More than that, the more at ease I was, the more likely it was that she say “yes.” However, that comfort only came as I got to know the girl. This is how I eventually married my wife. True story!

Have you ever felt nervous sharing your faith? Think about how the pre-Christian felt. Wouldn’t you like to feel comfortable? After all, you are the one with the good news. He’s the one who needs to hear it.

This is why we have the 5Bs. Now, I hate to call the 5Bs a “system” or “method” because it really is a lifestyle. This May, we are going to teach our church how to evangelize. If you want to learn how, sign up for a Life Group at

What has your experience with evangelism been like?

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