I wanted to share some great thoughts from Patrick Mead on evangelism. But, before I do let me say…I am not into door knocking or tracking people down to beat them over the head with the Bible. If someone invites me into their home for Bible study, then I will go. But, I believe that if we want the right to share the gospel with others, we first have to live the gospel in our own everyday lives before others:
“Two phrases need to be a part of your everyday life. You need to seek for opportunities to use each of them around three times a day. Do NOT try these once or twice or for a week and decide they aren’t for you. No, if you are going to do this, let it be a promise before God, a permanent change in your life.
‘What is the best thing I can do for you right now?
This is a simple way to enter a person’s life. Use this at the checkout counter, at the gas station, as you negotiate your way through your day at work or school, at the mall, or as you are standing in line at security at the airport. If they say “nothing, really” look to see if they might have missed something… When this is a part of your daily life, God will send you all kinds of people to serve in His Name.
Once you serve them… and this is key… do NOT launch into an invitation mode or ask for a Bible study. Smile at them sweetly and let them know you would be happy to help in the future. Eventually, if we “go about doing good” we will see tons of fruit for the kingdom. People will take these seeds, these bits of bread on the water, and make them into something great. It is the way Jesus did things, right? (remember Bartimaeus?)
‘I’m going to be praying later. Is there anything I can pray about for you?‘
If there is, write it down, take it seriously, and follow through. Offer to pray with them right then. If they say no, honor that and assure them that you WILL pray for them later. If they say “no” and seem to mean it, ask them if there is anyone else they can think of who might need prayer since you are going to be praying anyway! It amazes me, but people who refuse to let me pray for them can almost always name a person or two who needs prayer!
Do those two things, three times each every 24 hours and see what happens after six months or a year. Get group of twenty or thirty of you in your congregation to make the same pledge and arrange times when you can get together to share stories about what God did when you changed your life to be other-focused rather than self-focused.
Eventually, some of these people will show up to worship with you. If they don’t want to come into the building, arrange other places and times for them to worship. Do NOT require them to cross a street to be saved! Instead, take the church where they are and enlist them in your mission to serve, love, and pray for others. You will be shocked at what God is ready to do once you get started.” ”
May we all commit to using these phrases daily!