Several months ago, I led a discussion for a house church on the topic of personal evangelism.
I heard 8 different stories of how people came to faith in Jesus.
- An invitation to church
- A message at a camp / conference center.
- A mystical encounter with God
- Restless in the soul that prompted more discussion.
Key events came through contact with family members, with friends, and with random strangers.
For many, the initial encounter then led to a series of events over a year that helped each one surrender their life to the Lord.
I was impressed with the
- Diversity of stories.
- Diversity of means.
- Diversity of gospel explanations.
- Diversity of responses.
Evangelism is participating in a journey
After hearing all the stories, the group members saw the uniqueness of their journeys to Christ.
I went on to share about the process of evangelism, some of the most foundational teaching in our ministry.
It helps people see that we can’t rush or compact the conversion process down to a fixed 3 minute script over John 3:16, 3 questions and prayer.
In fact, no one in the group that night came to faith because of a fixed gospel presentation.
I learned more in that 1 hour
That was June. Here in December, I ran into one of those church members and he shared with me what that 1 hour had meant to him.
Prior to the workshop, he had been feeling guilty that his scripted presentations were not working. As a result, there was much personal condemnation.
However, that discussion that night over the process of evangelism brought him personal liberty from condemnation.
The clarity he got from the teaching that night helped him to see how he can play a role in the process of evangelism and that freed him from that sense of personal guilt that he was ineffective.
“I want to thank you for sharing that night. I can’t tell you how much it has helped me and brought back the joy to sharing my faith. I learned more in that 1 hour than I had in previous years of learning in evangelism. Your teaching was a huge blessing to me.”
I received a lot of encouragement from his words. He sought me out in a crowded room to share with me the impact of that night that happened 6 months ago.
As a teacher / trainer, measuring the fruit of workshops is hard until someone comes back to say thanks.