The key to the success of the early church was its use of unique and unexpected methods for changing the world. Today those elements continue to be what fuels her success. This week we take a break from our study in Acts to once again discover afresh the ingredients of each Christian and ultimately the flourishing of the church. The CP devos are created for you each week. Read them, soak them in, and pass them on to others.
“who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.” Titus 2:14
Evangelism. It's a scary word to many Christians. The gut reaction to evangelizing for many is "I'll do anything else for the church, but don't ask me to do that." The bad news of evangelism is it’s personified as glad-handing, standing on street corners, spouting off Christian-ese such as "Brother, are you lost?" "Are you saved?" “Born again?" "Washed in the blood?"
But many have courageously turned what would have otherwise been normal healthy conversation at a picnic into an awkward, unnatural, forced speak about "knowing the Lord," only to discover it’s a good way to get stuck with a barbecue fork.
You might not think of yourself as an evangelist because you don't fit the caricature of heavy handed, yelling, screaming, sweating preacher-type. However, you are an evangelist and so are most Christians. Most likely when you were doing it, you didn't think of it as evangelism.
But the little things you said and did revealed your faith in Jesus in an appealing way. Something about the way you lived your faith – or failed to live it. When you were faithful in your failure, others saw themselves in your struggle. It convinced them to overthrow their old ways and follow the Jesus they knew through you.
The best evangelism is show and tell. It's living in such a way that others both hear and see your value and love for Jesus. It does not involve you standing up on a chair to preach about the "strength and joy of knowing Jesus." Those searching for Jesus have no idea what these words mean. Real evangelism presumes an understanding relationship that precludes forcing your faith and the weird Christian-ese on another person.
Evangelism at its best is more than seeking "the lost," it’s realizing for yourself first, and then helping others to know that God is seeking us.
Today be aware that all your acts and all your words are a form of evangelism.