Issues of Life

Are You Witnessing Effectively?


Christian evangelism has entered new waters in this our modern world.  In some ways, it is easier to share your beliefs…with the advancement of technology, particularly the Internet and social media.  And in many ways, it is harder to be received, not least because those who do not want to hear your message know how to tune you out or sift through your content.  While a few still practice street and door-to-door witnessing, for many reasons, most people are deterred from utilising these avenues for more strategic and time-effective approaches.

In our efforts to spread the message of Christ, how far are we willing to go?  Do ethics form an hindrance to how we pass our message across?  By that I mean to ask, are there certain places you just shouldn’t try to preach with words but with your lifestyle, maybe like your office, cinema or someone’s wedding?  Are there certain tactics you should avoid…like shock tactics (radical, strange, uncompromising behaviours), hell-terrorising (putting the fear of hell in their conscious mind) or flirty-fishing (trying to win people over by adopting their lifestyle, and thus compromising some fundamental beliefs in order to win their souls)?  Or does anything really go, as long as Christ is preached?

I think the vast majority employ a tactic that makes them quite ineffective and unimpactful…basically they don’t evangelise at all.  They may only mention their faith when someone asks them (if that ever happens, maybe for some formality).  People may only know they are Christians during Lent, Easter or Christmas time.  They may practice the “live and let live” philosophy, and believe their ministry is simply for people to see Jesus in them by living a good, upstanding life that is tolerant of others…and their sins.  You know, because Jesus mingled with sinners too…and you mustn’t judge, only love.

Others may be more proactive in their evangelism.  They may feel a burden to tell someone about Christ, maybe once a week…maybe after a challenging sermon in Church or the communion.  They may even have a burden to bring a family member, friend or colleague to Christ, and may seek out opportunities continually to talk about their faith to those people.  But rarely do they extend such courtesies to strangers, except maybe to invite them to their Church.  They don’t want to impose their beliefs on others.  They don’t know what their relationship with God might be, and don’t want to presume or judge.  They may trust (read “assume”) that another Christian is already on the mission field for them…so they are comfortable minding their own business.

Yet others are much more diligent in their efforts to preach the gospel.  They may find a way to bring Jesus into every conversation (or as much as possible).  They may write regular social media messages and/or articles to draw attention to people’s need for salvation.  They may take to street-preaching, evangelising on public transportation, going door to door, or even taking advantage of crowds at public or private events.

They may be actively involved in some sort of ministry to serve the lost, sick, poor or oppressed, and also use these as avenues to preach.  They may use daily news as opportunities to raise awareness in their office or anywhere they go, where they can strike up conversations with colleagues and strangers alike.  They will be well-known for the beliefs they hold, and are either avoided, or become the go-to person in times of deep searching or crisis.

With this range, we have the cold, the lukewarm and the hot (in my opinion, and in varying degrees).  As much as we are all called to be witnesses of God, we have our different strengths and different methods that suit our personalities and should also bring glory to God.  During different phases in our lives, we may move between these degrees of evangelism (particularly in times of crisis and jubilation), but one may be more predominant/habitual than others.

However, there’s another category that doesn’t quite fit with these three.  That is what I like to call the Christian Crusader (super-hot?).  This type of evangelist is the most aggressive and the most offensive in his/her methods, seeking to alarm others into changing their way of thinking and possibly accepting Christ.  They are known for their beliefs wherever they go, and seem to always be on a campaign or at war for the Kingdom.  They may frequent blogs, forums or chatrooms to engage others in debate or discussion about their faith. They come across very judgmental of others, and so they slay people in their path by their words…losing many but saving some.  But this is okay to them, because few are chosen.

They save some because there are some people who need the hard word to get into line and get out of their comfort zone.  There are some people who respond to their authouritative approach, who need the discipline their approach lends, and even find them inspiring.  But many are slain, who take offense at their approach, and discard them as unloving and unChrist-like.  Though they may boast of imitating Christ’s disdain for hypocrites and lukewarmness, those seeking to see Christ’s grace and love will be offended by their witness.  However, the greatness of their opposition convinces them of their genuineness in imitating Christ, so they are never challenged to apply a softer hand.

Would you say crusading is an effective method of witnessing or evangelising, or is the saying that you “catch more flies with honey” relevant for Christian witnessing too?  Does the method really matter?  Do you think all these types can work together to bring a united witness for Christianity, or do they show varying degrees of commitment, passion and/or understanding of the Spirit of Christ?  If there is a most dangerous method, would it be the cold, lukewarm, hot or super-hot evangelist?

What method of witnessing do you employ, and why?  Do you think your method has been effective in bearing fruit, through the saving of souls?  Should we be concerned about the quality of Christians (fruit) a method produces?  Which method might churn out more quality Christians, though they may be less in quantity?  Lastly, what style of witnessing worked for you (in your conversion to Christianity)?  If it isn’t mentioned here, please feel free to enlighten us.  Thanks for reading and commenting.

PS: When last did you tell someone about Jesus?  Maybe you should do so today 🙂

Photo credit: http://www.christianity.com

If you liked this post, you might like HEY, WHY AREN’T YOU TRYING TO SAVE ME?

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19 replies »

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I could never define each of those categories as succinctly as you just did.
    Well, those are a lot of questions.
    I’m mostly hot and lukewarm.
    I strongly believe quality over quantity. If those built through quality will evangelize too, well we will have a vast quantity of quality christians😀
    Evangelism is the backbone of the gospel, we must ring that through all generations.
    The categories people fall in depends mainly on exposure. I’ve seen people change from a level to another based on where they live, the people they work with, what they read and what they have(money-wise).
    The point is not to criticize any category as most people do today. The point is to have the right interest at heart. Love. Love for the unreached soul. A burning fire to lead people to the only one capable of saving. May we all recieve the grace we need to witness effectively.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amen and amen! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You’re right that if more Christians evangelised, we’d have more quality Christians who will also evangelise and find more quality Christians. Without evangelism our faith will die.

      Like

  2. I love witnessing to loved ones and friends through personal testimonies which I tell when they have similar challenges. Then I mention them in prayer that God would touch them and save their souls.

    I find it more effective witnessing to people that i have shown a level of compassion and understanding for. I mean, I am hardly the spontaneous type who would strike up a conversation to make friends or share the gospel.
    I tried this a few times but it didn’t flow.

    I therefore learnt to ask God to lead me each day so that I may preach in line with the prompting of His Spirit. I believe more in God sending me on an evangelistic mission (which will surely bear fruit) than just going out as routine or out of compulsion or enthusiasm.

    The salvation of a soul might take time or it might be instantaneous but one thing is certain, when God leads me to preach somewhere and I do, a need is met.

    I remember the cases of Cornelius and Peter, Paul and the Gentiles and Philip and the eunuch. They were all led by the Holy Spirit to go and preach and when they obeyed, souls were saved.
    On the other hand, Paul was instructed at a time in Acts 21:4 not to go to Jerusalem.

    Therefore, since the Almighty is the owner of the business of saving souls, we should always let him lead us because in the end, like Paul and Apollos, we may plant and water but God gives the increase. Zeal is profitable when under the leading of the Holy Spirit.
    My two cents…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting perspective 🙂 I think sometimes we need to be deliberate, like we must do with prayer, otherwise we won’t witness at all. Sometimes, we are waiting to feel the burden or for a better time, and miss opportunities for lack of a real passion or better judgment. Keith Haney wrote a post which I shared on the Spotlight that addresses this aspect.

      You’re right that we can be over-zealous, but we can also be complacent and lazy about it. It’s something we need to be prayerful about maintaining the right balance.

      I actually don’t initiate conversations with strangers… I should do that more. Through my blog, I hope to reach a wider audience, but the truth is most of my readers are already Christian. Whatever we are doing, we need to improve…because there really are not enough Christians spreading the word.

      Thanks again for your contribution!

      Like

      • Quite true that we have to be sure we are not being complacent/ lazy.
        Your last statement stirred a thought in me though. Are you sure there really are not enough Christians spreading the word?
        Because from what I see each day, a lot of the word is spread – FB, twitter, blogs, Instagram, even in church. But the problem I see is that, the words shared lack power to save and deliver.
        Painfully, it’s as if those words make the hearers feel humbled for a while after which they return to their old ways.

        I pray our spirit man gets so in tune with God that our lives and words will be filled with the power of His Spirit.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Amen to your prayer!

        I think our witness is beyond our words, but also our lives. Though people need to be invited by our words to believe and confess, our lives should invite them to seek to know our God too. I think Christians often contradict themselves when their lives don’t show that they truly believe in Jesus, and no one is persuaded by such. I think that is part of the problem of not enough Christians witnessing… Too many are looking out for their affairs in this world, and sharing the word is a half-hearted act like their prayers, hence powerless!

        Like

    • Hi Mimi, I replied your comment, but encountered a problem. Thanks for adding your voice to this discussion.

      I think that’s what most of us do now, even the loud ones on social media. It’s the polite thing to do. Going gunho trying to convert everyone you see into a Christian like you, when there are so many other people who say they are Christian, maybe because they go to Church or were born into a ‘Christian’ home, or are actually part of a Christian group that you wouldn’t consider doctrinally sound, seems a bit judgemental and presumptious to us. But how much concern do we have for those who call on Christ or align with Christianity, yet do not know Him? How far should we be expected to go to be our brother’s keeper in this regard?

      Thanks again for your contribution!

      Liked by 1 person

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