How many of you all, earnestly cringed when you read the title of this devotion?
Evangelism is such a loaded word in American Church life because it has often been misused to mean marketing. Last year, “This American Life” ran an episode about Evangelism gone bad.
One example they used was a trick used by Campus Crusades during Beach Week. They would have women dressed in bikinis handing out fliers to come to the free luau where “food, games and drinks” would be offered. Of course those drinks were non-alcoholic, and during intermissions the same women would stand up and share how Jesus Christ changed their lives.
As one guy described it, “by the third intermission you suddenly realized these women were not available and that the old bait & switch had occurred.”
I find much of my time is spent explain what Evangelism is not, rather than helping people discover what true evangelism is.
For me, John 1:43, 45-46 is a beautiful example of what true evangelism is.
The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me…”
Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote– Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.
“Come and see,” said Philip.
As followers of Christ, we should be like Philip who actively seeks out and invites a friend of his to come and discover who Jesus Christ may be.
I also love that when asked a question, Philip does not give a 5 point argument, but rather invites Nathanael to join him in this journey of faith.
It is my goal to spend the next few weeks, talking about “Doable Evangelism” in order that we may discover that true faith is not made through a sales pitch and a bait & switch, but an invitation to walk together in our spiritual journey.
What is so scary about the word “Evangelism?” Who are some people that have invited you to “come and see?”
Rev. Wes Barry
Minister for Evangelism and Young Adults
*I have totally lifted this phrase from DoableEvangelism.com, and rather than have another copyright issue on my hand, I would like to point you all to their website and trademark.