I’m just curious what everyone else thinks regarding what type of evangelisation is the most effective. Mainly leading by example, or sighting Scripture first?
I remember in high school being friends with a born again Christian girl who was just so nice, a person who exudes Christ’s Peace in any situation bad or good without even speaking to me about God, Jesus, or accepting Christ, and I know she hasn’t always had the easiest life either. I remember hanging out with her, and just thinking “MAN, I WANT WHAT SHE HAS! I WANT THAT PEACE!” The only thing she ever did as far as letting God work through her to reach me was inviting me to Young Life and she was still friends with me either way. I did end up eventually going with her, and it was due to her method, that started me feeling His Peace in my journey, although I already really loved God, seeing it in her.
As I’ve quoted St Francis of Assisi’s words before, of “Preach the Gospel if necessary use words!” I know that it’s accepting Jesus in your life without any other action than talking to him, needing him, so desiring a personal relationship with him, that results in good acts of Him working through us.
I wonder if that is the best example in general, like with evangelising to people we don’t know who don’t know anything about us yet, being around these people as we are, at work, on streetcorners, shelters, wherever we first meet. Do we lead by our daily example with the Peace in us, or do we diligently go to them, say c’mon man God Loves You, doing METH is not honoring His temple in you, and cite verses of how we need to live to have Christ’s Peace. Sometimes I think going directly to people, or for example forcing them to listen to a sermon in a shelter before they can come in for a meal when they are starving on the street is detrimental to them feeling His Peace. I’m around a lot of homeless people and it really turns them off, and I know it turns many people off no matter how gently and lovingly you talk to them when we see them living their lives in real sin, wiccans, drug dealers, oh all different kinds of people. When we even gently go with our words first, to me it seems like much more of a battle than letting them see Christ’s Light coming forth through us basically guiding them to Christ then I LOVE discussing Scripture and the ENDLESS, ENDLESS Love of God for them. That maybe the One they are beating up for their situation is the only One who who’s really in a postion to help, “Look what He did for me!!”
If you’re a televangelist then the words are your calling. Although I’m a devout Catholic the Holy Spirit has surely grabbed me through Paula White, Joyce Meyer, and Joel Osteen as well as my Parish Priest. Yet, it’s the action of a Minister/Priest in their daily life that still seems to speak the loudest. It only takes one good thing or indescretion to really make or break them too many and then people don’t trust the Scripture and view the preach. We need to be living it, and it’s picked up and passed on by others I think.
When I think of generally how Jesus taught, He didn’t say hey everybody come listen, He eventually had his disciples living His messages to the best they could and leading people to Him. The people heard about his message, they saw and heard of the miracles, and of his way of life, Christ’s Peace. In the rare extreme situations, we root on as He flips over the money changers tables in the Temple, we should as well in those rare situations, but I don’t think speaking to a prostitute for example is a rare situation in this world requiring extreme words, or for starving Guatemalan villagers going about their lives. He didn’t come at them citing the Torah and/or scaring them into listening to Him.(Please correct me if I’m wrong, seriously.)
Those who willingly received it knew through the grapevine, were personal witnesses or received a direct miracle/call from God, and they were eager to hear what He had to say. Then all kinds of teaching/sermons whatever word I should use to relate it to the example of Christ we should all follow, was again sought out and eagerly received. No one was aliented excepted those people say for example the Pharisees and Sadducees who were not necessarily living the way they should due to their pride of their advanced knowledge which of course Jesus didn’t exhibit and He had the most. That shows that the worst who we sometimes force ourselves on so hard, don’t listen even if they act like the are, they have to come of their own choice, and that of course is where the personal relationship with God comes in when it’s time. There was NOTHING Jesus could have scripture quoted (oral tradition I guess at that time)that would not have just pushed them away further. They weren’t ready to come on their own, to let down their pride and see him in any way representative of God. So at that point you just have to Love them anyway, freely help them or anyone no strings attached to pursue spreading the Good News, and as it’s written we *1 Thessalonians 3:13 says “brothers and sisters, never tire of doing good.” *
Obviously, I personally based my role in discipleship, in large part on my initial experience with my new friend in high school.
I really didn’t mean to make this so long, and I am certainly pretty preachy here, but then again this is a Forum for views on Evangelism. So I’d love to hear what you say, feel free to correct me seriously!