Before my wife and I were married, she was attending a church that decided it wanted to rent out a coffee house for a “pre-evangelism event.” The pastor explained that this would be a place where everyone could bring their friends and mingle but they weren’t going to share the gospel with the attendees.
Needless to say, Janet and some others in the class objected that their church was going to go through all this effort without even presenting the good news to lost people! The pastor relented and offered Janet the opportunity to give the gospel at the gathering.
Now, over two decades later, “pre-evangelism” has morphed into “friendship evangelism.” John Sorensen rightly pointed out the weaknesses to this approach on a recent Share Life Today broadcast.
When practicing friendship evangelism, how long does it take to become friends with someone so that the Gospel can be shared? Keep in mind that the Gospel must be proclaimed in order for this to be evangelism. So, does it take a day, a week, a month, six months? And if we wait until we feel that we’re now friends with the person, what happens if they say, “Why did you wait so long to tell me about Jesus? I thought we were friends?” And here’s yet another question. If we wait until we think the friendship is far enough along to share our faith, doesn’t that mean we’ve decided when it’s time for the person to hear the Good News – instead of the Holy Spirit? We can be friendly and share the Gospel.
Evangelism Explosion has found that the two most common reasons people don’t share their faith are: “I’m afraid” and “I don’t know how.” Share Life Today’s website and daily radio feature are wonderful ways to equip your listeners to grow their confidence and witnessing skills. For more about EE’s radio and web outreach, visit, ShareLife.Today.