Have you ever been walking through the park and see a squirrel? Often as you approach this person they are often frightened that they will scurry off into the closest safe spot they see. We don’t mean to frighten this poor little animal, but their instinct knows that someone out there might. Due to our disproportionate size, we become intimidating. It’s not that the squirrel has something against you, it’s just trying to live. Live their life like they have gone about many times before. However, we can become this way to others around us. We as Christians walk around with this larger than life appearance because we know the truth, the power of God, and walk with the creator. We often forget that not long before we made that conversion, we were saved, we were likely the same way. We too were obviously not squirrels, but we are small and weak in spirit. We were empty and did not know about the great power which we now experience. Somewhere along the line someone who walked in the larger manner reached out to you and gained your trust. As a Christian, we are all given a calling to share this truth which we have. However, most of us do this the wrong way. Evangelism is not easy, but it’s a must. Not everyone is going to be taken away and swept off their feet by you walking up to them and saying “HEY YOU, GO TO CHURCH!” First and foremost, this takes away so much from the process. Far too often this person’s spirit will scatter off much like that squirrel in the park. Likewise, it’s best not to call them out by their sin because they will deem you judgmental and a hypocrite. There is a way to get all to that wonderful finish line which we are all marching towards, but it takes time and patience. Patience that could take a lifetime.
In my opinion, many people think evangelism is trying the be Billy Graham in the middle of the streets and trying to preach. The only issue with this is there is only one Billy Graham. There is no shame in being the guy who gets only a handful of people to convert in their life. Evangelism in my view is not about quantity, but quality. As we are all brothers and sisters, the most important thing you can do for this person you want to convert is loved them. Love them as much as you can without breaking the law. If you don’t they will become that squirrel. Love them to your best ability and make them a friend. It’s much easier to build a rapport and evangelize with a true friend than the random stranger sitting across from you at Starbucks. If you think you’re that gifted feel free to give that dice a roll, but often you’re going to fall flat on your face. I don’t stand alone in this belief though. Many people share a similar mentality that you should make friends before you attempt to convert. When you take the time to befriend this person you are already creating the example. In all your friendships, you should be the living example of what Christians should be. Immediately people will begin to see that you’re different but in a good way. Not only this, but you’re giving them a blueprint to model. The great thing about becoming friends with this person is over time they are more likely to breakdown because they trust you. Now let me make this clear before I go too much farther, don’t make friends with someone who you may not get along with because you want to convert them. Back on point here, having a friend you are trying to make a believer is wonderful because you not only will be there if they have questions, they will also be there once they go through. If they continue to refuse all you can do is pray. When it comes to 21st-century evangelism you can’t jam the Bible down someone’s throat and expect that to make them believe. One they will likely choke and two you have lost their trust. Try forcing something on that squirrel and they will likely maul your face. So, we need to stop this whole concept that the most impactful way is to find strangers and convert them.
The big issue with random evangelism is that you have to wonder the quality of the convert you’re bringing in. Are you making a convert on a path towards religiousness or are you making one on the path to discipleship? People often mirror the examples they have if they think Christianity is about getting people to church then they are missing out on about 99% of Christianity. This is a life long journey and a walk with Christ to become more like Christ. Eventually, along the chain of stranger conversion oriented mentality comes the ignorant believer. When we have, the ignorant believer comes the skewing of doctrine, bad theology, and simply bad Christians. When we bring someone to church we must be in it for the long haul. When you chose to evangelize, you’re taking a huge risk because you’re in one manner taking responsibility for one’s spiritual formation.
Again, you’re not Billy Graham my friend you’re not going to get a mass revival following. We should have a sense of reality when we are choosing to evangelize. It’s not enough to show a squirrel where the acorns are, eventually those acorns are going to be gone. What happens when that rush of the acorns is gone. Not only do we have to bring them to the acorns, but show them the best trees, show them show the climb them, and how to be the squirrel they are meant to be. Ok, maybe I should stop with the squirrel reference here. The point of this all is though we have to focus on the quality of the convert we are bringing in. If we evangelize wrong we are not only at risk of losing this person, but we are at risk of leading down a darker path. I tell you all this, but I will be quite honest with you I am terrible at this evangelism process. If numbers are the measure of a quality evangelist then I am terrible I think I might have led to two, three at best who would seek relation with God. You have to stick with these people. The number does not matter the quality does. Keep that in mind. Peace and Blessings always my brothers and sisters in Christ.