Double-edged 真理報雙語版


A bilingual and bicultural Christian young adults blog //////////////// 青年華裔基督徒的博客

Evangelism for Dummies

Vickie | Chinese Translation: Naomi

It is undeniable that an invaluable community can be built when it is centred on God and with the goal of fostering genuine disciples. The danger in this, however, is we often get trapped in the imminent “Christian bubble”, letting our faith take precedence only among other Christians or in the private solitude of our homes. There is an innate discomfort that accompanies wearing our faith on our sleeves in places outside of church, whether it is in your workplace or among non-Christian friends. Although we know that we are called to make disciples, to be the salt of the earth and light of the world, witnessing is much often easier said than done.  As long as your motives are God-centred, there certainly is no right or wrong in the act of evangelism, but from my perspective, that of a former non-Christian, there are some useful principles that can be kept in mind.

Listen. When engaged in a conversation with a non-believer, for both sides of the party, there is nothing more aggravating than feeling as if you are conversing with a brick wall and having your opinions glazed over. Not only does being attentive to the non-believer and being genuinely interested in their reasons as to why they have not yet accepted Christ, allow for you to gauge an appropriate method for communicating the gospel, you establish a genuine relationship.  If a relationship is not established outside of the agenda of evangelism, the non-believer could possibly feel as if they are just another check on the evangelism hit list.

You must also be cautiously aware of not being forceful with your message or turning the conversation into a heated debate. Debates rarely convert the other side to adopt your opinions; rather they further polarize the opposing sides, defeating the purpose of evangelism. A good first step is to share your faith as a personal testament and to offer your Christian point of view on issues, being tolerant of their alternate perspective.
Although offering Christian perspectives on societal issues can be an effective method of witnessing, it entails the danger of not communicating the essential message of the gospel, which is the salvation offered through acceptance of Christ as our personal Saviour and Lord.  It is easy to fall into the temptation of being comfortable in our “safe” methods of evangelism, but if we don’t take another step further, the transformation of the non-believer is left at the seeding stage and not to the full acceptance of Christ.

Witnessing by living out your faith and being an example for the non-believer has its value in the scope of evangelism, but there are individuals who need a slightly more forceful push. It is often more efficient and productive to be proactively involved in their conversion. Yes, we can pray for God to open their hearts and minds, but perhaps we are the answer to our own prayers. Opportunities for us to involve ourselves in their conversion usually present themselves when we are asked to draw non-believers into the Christian community by inviting them to church outreach events.

However, inviting friends to Christian events often brings about anxiety for both sides of the party. We are often fearful of taking this step, crippled with worries of how the non-believer will react. Will this exposure only turn them off even more from accepting Christ? Will my relationship with them change for the worse? Allowing these questions to ferment in our minds is dangerous if we choose to respond to these fears by remaining in a comfortable stagnant stage of the conversion. We must remember that Jesus was crucified when He began His ministry on earth. Hence, there are no promises that we may encounter less than positive reactions in response to our attempt at evangelism, but we must still dutifully and faithfully pursue it because we are called to do so.

In the end, it is ultimately the work of the Holy Spirit that convicts and it is God that brings people to Himself.  We, as Christians, must not meet this with passive submission, but with patience and humility, we must whole-heartedly assume our role as earthly representatives for Jesus.


Filed under: Reflection, , ,

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"Double-edged"is bilingual blog in affiliation with Truth Monthly, a Chinese Christian monthly print publication based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

This blog features mostly original writings as well as comics, poetry, and other works of art by local Christian young adults.

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