If you’ve been in church for a while, there’s no doubt you have heard of it. Churches put on seminars to teach it and I’ve come across plenty of books offering guidance on how to best do it.
You’ve heard the word evangelism many times, or perhaps you know it as outreach? - Either way, I feel a little conflicted writing about this topic as there is so much talk yet so little action.
Why does the very idea of sharing the good news of Jesus’s love and life scare so many Christians?
Why do many of us feel so un-empowered to do it?
I imagine there are many reasons which are all well worth exploring. However, I’m not here to question them or look at a solution for each. Instead, I’d like to suggest one fundamental shift.
I suggest that, as Christians, we look at outreach or evangelism as a state of being. 🕯️
.. Wait, a state of what? 🙃
I'm aware that most churches and ministries organize events and that the way we teach outreach is based on direct actions within the world. I’m also not suggesting that we take away from this approach but I am proposing this approach through a new lens.
What if we see it as a lifestyle? A way of existing and moving outside our space of comfort in the world?
What if it was what Proverbs 22:9 called “a bountiful eye?” – An eye that looks and sees dignity, worth and brokenness in each person we meet?
What if outreach is about living with what Psalms 40:6 calls “an open ear?” – Ears that are pressed to heaven to hear the heart of God for those around us?
What if it evangelism was really about being in love?
It sounds wild lol but hold on I’m landing. 😅
If you’ve ever experienced love, you know it alters the way you think, feel, act and make decisions. People notice things like the sauce in your step or the way your mouth makes micro-expressions. The way you are hopeful, happy and wistful. People notice, ask you and you answer every question like one rose petal sprinkled with fairy dust. They smile and they listen…. because of that state of being… in love is captivating to those around you.
What I’m trying to say is, you lose the fear of what others think and if we're real, that can be the biggest obstacle to sharing our faith.
So what if it was really that simple?
What if the issue isn’t that we don’t know how or that there are not enough opportunities? - What If we simply aren’t in love?
Can’t lie, it’s weird to write that but the fact is, Jesus commanded us to share the gospel in both WORD and Deed. Isnt that love?
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.- 1 John 5:3 English Standard Version (ESV)
Let’s remind ourselves that his commandments are not burdensome. Evangelism is not burdensome. Yes it can be very awkward and difficult but it is not a forced chore. It is not a super spiritual religious obligation. It is a joy, a privilege, and an honor to open our hearts and exemplify to the love of God. Your love story is your truth, even if you don't think it is love, think about how far you've come from where you used to be.
Like I said at the start, there are many books, methods and programs but at the root of it all, we need to be captivated and convinced in our own inner depths that Jesus is worth being shared. We have to be in love.
If it seems scary, if it seems like a chore and you can’t find a way to do it – figure out what filled you with wonder in the first place…
fall in ❤️ again.