Evangelistically Challenged

Something I’ve been praying for, fairly consistently, is the opportunity to share our faith with our family. A while back, we used to hope for kind of an “afterschool special” moment; that one day, Emily’s parents or my parents would sit us down and say, “Gee, you’re really different. Why is that?” And then we could share our story, present the gospel and see them get saved. That day.

Too lofty a goal? Maybe.

Anyway, as I’ve been praying, occasionally little opportunities to put something out there pop up. Sometimes I end up taking them, but… a lot of the time, I hesitate or I misread the situation.

Sunday afternoon, for example, I realized in hindsight that there was a prime opportunity and I dropped the ball. My mother-in-law asked me how my preaching went last weekend, which gave me an opening that—I didn’t take.

But I should have, I realized as we were driving home.

I talked a  bit about how it went, but didn’t get into the content of the message too much. While she might not have been all that interested (and even though I’ve sent a link to the audio), I totally blew that opportunity.

What I’m realizing in this is that I’m kind of evangelistically challenged, at least when it comes to family.

I think there’s still a part of me that wants to think that pure “relational evangelism”—that somehow, people are going to ask, “Gee, Aaron, I’ve noticed you don’t drink; could you tell me how to get saved?”—that that’s actually going to work.

But I’m sure, if we’re being honest with ourselves, we know that it just doesn’t.

Paul writes in Romans 10:14-17:

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Getting over being evangelistically challenged means being willing to speak up, even at the risk of offending someone with the truth.

I guess the question for me is, am I willing to get over myself to do it?

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  • http://www.hillsbiblechurch.org/ Don

    I’m with you on this one, brother.

    My wife and I visited our daughter and new husband recently (they live in Canada and we live in Australia). We were hoping for an opportunity to share Jesus with them. But it didn’t happen.

    What was I waiting for? “Dad, what must I do to be saved?” Nope – didn’t happen once. Guess I’m off the hook.

    Of course, I don’t think this way at all. Put simply – I missed the few opportunities that were there, and I didn’t intentionally create any. In reality, I suppose I was more concerned about risking offence than about my daughter and son-in-law’s eternity – a foolish trade-off.

    God – grant me another chance.

    The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

    • http://hardwords.wordpress.com Aaron Armstrong

      Don, thanks for your honesty in sharing this. I’ve no doubt that God will give you more opportunities. Hopefully more for me too.

  • http://intelligentdesignfacts.com Cammie Novara

    “Anyway, as I’ve been praying, occasionally little opportunities to put something out there pop up. Sometimes I end up taking them, but… a lot of the time, I hesitate or I misread the situation.” I am delighted by the truth in those words.

    • http://hardwords.wordpress.com Aaron Armstrong

      I’m glad they were helpful for you, Cammie; thanks for reading today!

  • Sharpy

    What I find instructive is that when Peter talks about “giving a reason for the hope within you,” the Greek verb preceding that is one where the person is just about shaking you by the collar to understand what makes you tick. He is eager to know about this thing you call “faith.” Not everyone is ready for the Gospel (remember such admonitions as “shake the dust off your feet” and “don’t throw your pearls before swine,” and “Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words”). I don’t like it when Mormons or JW’s try to force their false beliefs on me; do unto others, etc.—->therefore, I don’t generally initiate “witnessing” to people who’ve not indicated any sort of spiritual interest or hunger. (Now, of course, a pastor or evangelist is in a bit more obligated position than a pewster like me. Heheh.)