As I was doing my personal prayer this morning, I started to reflect on the way we evangelize. It seems that as a whole, Christianity has resorted to shouting about God to the people around them. You have people on street corners yelling angrily about sin, judging everyone who passes by and condemning them to Hell. You have people cornering others so that they can share the Good News with them through the latest gospel tract. I’ve heard people say that they feel forced into listening, like they are being coerced into believing in God.
Don’t get me wrong, I think people need to know that they are sinners. I think that people need to know the there is hope in Christ who came to save the world. But I think we go about it wrong. God doesn’t force us to believe in Him or to love and trust Him. And I don’t think he wants His followers forcing people to either. God shows us His love and through that we come to see that He exists and that He can be trusted. He gains followers by being who He is. And if people continue to reject Him, He lets them, but He never stops loving them. I think what we need to do is to learn how to love again. We need to show people that we truly care about them. When they feel like you’ve taken the time to get to know their story and when they feel like you’ve listened and love them, then they will be more open to what you have to say. And if they still don’t like it, we still need to show them love and compassion, because God never stops showing us love and compassion. We are relational beings, made in the image of God and we need to start bringing people to God through relationship.
Approaching people on the street may sometimes work, but we have a tendency to keep pushing, even when they’ve told us they don’t want to talk to us. We need to learn to walk away, to accept rejection. And shouting on the streets may seem like the only way to reach people in this world where there are so many views being shouted. But that’s just it. Everybody is shouting. The way to reach people is to show that there is something different about you. Something has changed you and that draws people in. Something about the way you live is mysterious and beautiful. And through that people will see that Christ has changed you and He will be glorified. They may even decide that they want this transforming relationship as well.
They will know that we are Christian by our love. Let’s start showing love.