To say that personal evangelism is personal is to state the obvious. And while we all would affirm in principle the need to be in relationships with unbelievers for the purpose of being salt and light, the practical application may in fact be challenging.
Why? Because relationships are messy and hard work. Sometimes, we just don’t want to deal with it. Additionally, we’re very distracted with ‘life’ – sometimes so much so that redemptive relationships aren’t on our ‘radar.’
Additionally we may shun the call to engage the lost for other reasons like – They will reject me. I won’t know what to do or say. It’s too this or too that?
The temptation to want to avoid relational engagement with the lost is real. Yet personal relationship provide a tremendous platform where we can develop trust and rapport, where there is time, and there are margins and many touch points for spiritual conversations to occur as God opens doors.
Additionally, in light of current religious trends, relational engagement for the individual Christian is critical.
New research in Gordon-Conwell’s Center for the Study of Global Christianity’s found that 20 percent of non-Christians in North America do not “personally know” any Christians.
Additionally, here in the United States, a recent Pew Survey on religion found that 1 out 5 people identify religiously as ‘none’, meaning they have no religious affiliation. That is 60 million Americans and rising daily! Interestingly, most of these ‘nones’ have spiritual interest on some level. Yet when it comes to identifying with the institution of the church they are religiously disenfranchised.
In His ministry Jesus went out among and loved the disenfranchised, those disconnected from or shunned by society in general – people like the Samaritan woman, tax collectors, ‘sinners’ and publicans.
Jesus was all about the Father’s business and the Father’s business was all about people. And for you and I, the Father’s business should be our business. For people need the Lord and they are everywhere – they are in your sphere of influence and mine. Do you realize this?
What’s the next step with an unbeliever in your sphere of influence? The Lord knows. If you’re currently not in a friendship with an unbeliever, are you willing to ask God to bring someone into your life for the purpose of being a witness for Him? You know, we can’t witness to everybody, but we can be a witness to somebody? One person is precious to God! And there is a next step for you. Won’t you ask God what it is?
As with the first two keys of personal evangelism we discussed in previous blogs – intentionality & availability – relationality requires a ‘will to.’ Today, may our hearts reflect intentionality, availability, and a commitment to relationships as God leads.
Father, help me be a more effective witness for Jesus. I’m available to be used by You. Show me the next step or steps relationally among those in my life who need You. Amen.