Monday, July 09, 2007

Good Dialogue

In case you missed it last week, the good thought-provoking dialogue about evangelism is continuing in the comments section of the post entitled "The Celtic Way of Evangelism" three posts back.

Your participation is encouraged and invited . . .


Suzette said...

I tried to comment a couple of days ago, but it got lost in cyber space some how. I have enjoyed all the comments and the C.S. Lewis essay (which I read while waiting for the family camp pictures to upload on Flickr). With a couple days to think about it maybe I can make a more relevant comment.

Evangelism is a real challenge for me. I think my main excuse would be ineptitude. And then the comments from others who have invited people to church or shared the gospel with no visible results. If my efforts are going to be ineffective or counter productive then maybe I should refrain. It holds me back even though I know how ever badly I stick my foot in my mouth or offend someone it will not determine whether or not they are saved. And it is all excuses of course. God commands it so I should do it even if I am not “good at it”. Also how can I learn or gain any skill if I never try. Just as God does not need me, my failure will not hinder him either. Plus nothing is wasted in God’s economy. It is about obedience and humility not about ability or effectiveness.

I know this is all true as I look back on all of the people God sent to me before I became a Christian. Some were just perplexing and some were weird and some had offensive personalities. I always wondered “What is this person’s angle?” “What do they expect to gain from talking to me?” Even though they were not effective in persuading me to believe in Christ, God still used all of it. God loved me and He was pursuing me. As I look back, just the sheer number is impressive. Each one spoke of the persistent love of God searching me out, refusing to let me get away. So skilled or inept I want to be a part of that in the lives of other people.

I am interested in Ted’s Evangelism Class. Nex time could he have it at a different time than before?

Jacquelyn said...

yeah, can he do that class again? it sounds like many people are energized about this topic, I know I am!

Anonymous said...

i am chiming in to share an experience the Lord blessed me with the other day. After telling Tim about it, he said I need to check out this dialog and post my experience.

Great dialog, very encouraging!

So I was mountain biking a few mornings ago and was very taken back by the beauty of Gods creation(Natural Revelation has always been a way the Lord works in my heart) and was suddenly convicted of not making myself available on a day to day basis for what the Lord might be putting right under my nose. (Mindset thing) At the top of the hill, my prayer was that of confession and then for an open mind/heart towards opportunities to share the gospel with others, any day/ every day.

Shocker! The next day I am in the car for a good amount of time with a newly hired employee(dangerous ground in todays world of liability I know)and after business talk had subsided, 30 minutes of driving still left, out of cell range, no more excuses, it hit me that my prayer from the day before was being answered. Here I was, with a non-believer, and opportunity was knocking. Was I going would I start the conversation in that direction........would it make the working environment weird if she took great offense to it......

I jumped in. It was a great experience! I look back at the conversation and cant believe how well it went and how many seeds of thought were planted for further discussion. She was not praying "the prayer" right then and there, but the things she did take offense to, we were able to get past(agreeing to discuss more later). She has a crazy mix of influence in her background and in the end, has no idea what she even believes. Ultimately, she is trying as hard as she can to believe in herself and it was obvious she is not content(We all know why).

Anyways, I was very excited and thankful for the opportunity that the Lord put on my plate.

What saddens me is to realize that I am missing these opportunities all the time! So are you! (Most likely) As Tim mentioned early on in the post, a change of mindset(willingness to make yourself available, put yourself out there, look for opportunities, take a risk.....etc.....) is more than half the battle. The Lord will lead you, then do the rest. Whether that means a good result, bad result, somewhere in the middle? The rest is up to him and it is our delight to have the opportunity to share in the Lords process.

So whatever its worth, thats my experience and I thank the Lord for the blessing I have received through it.

Sean Cheney