Sometimes, ‘evangelism’ gets pigeonholed into some kind of special niche that’s reserved only for those Christians who have certain gifts. As if it’s just for people who are great public speakers, or are good at arguing a point and convincing strangers that their side is the right side… either that or they’re really skilled with a bullhorn. But if the words of Jesus (and the writers of the New Testament) mean anything, evangelism should be part of the life of every believer. In fact, it’s why we’re here.
I just finished reading Eats With Sinners from Arron Chambers. It’s not just a theoretical book about what might work or what should work to reach people. It’s a great look at what Jesus did to reach people and what happens when His people today do what he did a couple thousand years ago. It’s not just about a strategy or a method, but about living a life that reveals Jesus to people who don’t notice Him.
And it’s not just some best-case scenario concept, either, Arron is living what he’s advocating and leading a congregation that does the same. A couple years ago, I met the youth pastor where Arron serves and arranged to visit with him for a couple hours. As it turned out, we went to lunch with Arron and several of the Journey staff. As we joked and talked our way through buckets of Chinese food, I loved seeing the camaraderie that had developed there and was excited to hear about the ministry that was being catalyzed through those relationships. One weekend last month, I was able to visit his congregation. Though Arron was out of town, the church he so joyfully serves gave evidence that His message has sunk in deeply there. Their joy and genuine excitement at being available to God to touch lives in their community was impossible to miss.
Unfortunately, many churches don’t function that way. The church in our part of the world today is anemic and weak when it comes to evangelism. We’ve misappropriated the task and delegated to a select few what all of us our called to do. Many Christians would be unable to articulate how they are sharing Christ with the people around them or to name even 1 single person that they’ve led to Jesus. This can’t continue. Check out Eats With Sinners to be challenged to do what Jesus has called you to do – and to gather the necessary ingredients to build relationships like Jesus did.