Earlier today, my wife shared a gospel tract with me that she found when she opened a new box of diapers. I read through it, just to be sure, and sure enough, it was a little cartoon story of a man who died and saw hell, then wanted to talk to a pastor after being revived. I thought this may be a unique way for someone to see the gospel, who might otherwise not get a chance, and maybe a little more effective than passing by one on a bathroom counter. There was no name or contact printed on it, but it made me wonder what the efficiency rate is of this type of ‘evangelism’, maybe 1 in 50 or 100 tracts that are read lead someone to seek the truth of the Gospel? Just speculation, but if that were the case, you may ask, is it worth the effort? If this were so, I would expect to see more of these, or maybe engage in more of this myself. Do you know anyone who came to faith through a tract, a billboard, a radio show, or some other indirect means?
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:14-15
What means of evangelism do you practice? In a post-modern culture, street corner evangelism or witnessing to strangers is almost taboo to many in the younger generations. Even though they may need to hear it, superficial advice coming from a stranger about something which they likely have a preconceived opinion is not always a good impression either. But it is better than nothing, right? Or wrong? Even if intended as a means to share the love of Jesus, some methods of sharing this information don’t come across as very loving, or at least are not perceived that way. How about you or others you know? How did you come to the knowledge of your need for a saving faith in Jesus for your salvation?
The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever. Isaiah 40:8
You may not have tracts that you give out to strangers or friends, but one thing you do have, that is likely even more effective, is your own story. When you can engage in a conversation (not a debate) with someone and are able to share how and why you came to faith in Christ, there is a much greater chance that they may be willing to consider doing the same. When you meet with someone once, or multiple times, it shows you care about them, and may create a place where they feel more comfortable asking questions of you, or sharing what struggles they are having as well. With an invitation from you, they may even be more open to discussing or exploring God’s story in the Word, which should eventually open up to them the truth of the Gospel. Have you ever had meetings like this with a non-believer, even if it did not go exactly how you thought? To be honest, I would enjoy meeting with someone every day if it meant we could have a conversation about God’s Word.
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15
So, even if you don’t get a chance to share the Gospel or your story of how you came to believe it very often, seek out opportunities to do so. I would challenge you to make some time to write an outline of where you started and how you have grown in your faith over the years, and list the reasons you have come to trust the Bible and what it says. Once you write it out, you may be able to relate some main points of your faith story to a friend of even a brief encounter with a stranger if the opportunity presents. I have been meaning to make time to do the same, so I can come up with new ways to share what is most meaningful in my life with anyone who will listen. After all, if I truly value the Good News found in God’s Word, why wouldn’t I want others to share in this treasure?
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8
Yours in Christ,