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Rethinking Evangelism

July 10, 2024 | Harvest

Some Christians get uptight when they hear the word evangelism, especially when it feels that evangelizing is a duty that they are required to do.

What if we called it something else? What if we looked at evangelism as simply “making a recommendation”? If you’ve just eaten some fantastic pizza, or you just finished watching a mind-blowing film, or if a new gadget saved you a ton of time or money, would you look at it as a duty to share information about those things with people?

Of course not!

Imagine this scenario: You’ve just discovered a hidden gem of a restaurant that serves the most delicious burgers you’ve ever tasted. You’re excited about your find and naturally, you tell your friends and family about it. Sharing this new find isn’t a chore; it’s something you do with enthusiasm and joy.

That’s the perspective we need when we approach evangelism. Think of it as sharing something that’s made a significant impact on your life with those around you. It’s about telling your story and how Jesus has enriched your life, offering hope, and providing comfort in times of need. It’s not about obligation or pressure; it’s about genuine enthusiasm for something that has profoundly impacted you.

The essence of making a recommendation is authenticity. When you recommend a restaurant, a movie, or a gadget, you do so because you genuinely believe in its value. Similarly, when you talk about your faith, it should come from a place of sincerity and personal experience. People are more receptive to genuine recommendations than they are to something that feels forced or insincere.

Recommendations come up naturally in conversations, don’t they? They arise organically when a topic comes up, making the interaction more relaxed and less intimidating. This idea also applies to evangelism. Instead of seeing it as an isolated task, integrate it into your daily conversations. Share how your faith guides you in making decisions, gives you peace in stressful times, or provides a sense of purpose and belonging.

Seen this way, evangelism becomes less about “converting” someone and more about sharing a part of yourself. It’s about opening up and letting others see the change that God has had on your life. This openness leads to meaningful conversations and connections, allowing others to see who you are in light of who you’ve been.

By shifting our perspective from evangelism as a duty to evangelism as making a recommendation, we can approach it with more ease and authenticity. It’s not about fulfilling an obligation but about sharing something valuable and life-changing with those we care about. After all, sharing good news, whether it’s about a burger or a belief, should come naturally and joyfully.

Six Ways to Make Evangelism a Joy Instead of a Duty

  1. Be Genuine: Share your faith naturally and authentically. People respond best when you speak from genuine belief and personal experience.
  2. Integrate It into Daily Life: Let your faith shine through in your everyday actions and conversations. It’s less about setting aside special times to evangelize and more about living your faith openly.
  3. Focus on Relationships: Build and maintain meaningful relationships. When people see the positive impact of your faith in your life, they become curious and more open to discussions.
  4. Share Stories: Tell stories about how your faith has helped you. Personal experiences are powerful and relatable, making the conversation more engaging.
  5. Listen Actively: Evangelism is not just about talking; it’s also about listening. Understand where others are coming from and address their questions and concerns with empathy.
  6. Be Patient: Remember that evangelism is not about instant results. Planting seeds of faith can take time, and it’s okay to let the process unfold naturally.

When you keep these things in mind, evangelism can become a joyful and fulfilling part of your life—much like sharing your favorite discoveries with a friend.

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