No one will tip COLD WATER over your enthusiasm to share the Gospel like a well-meaning Christian brother.
Evangelism: You have heard the criticisms, “They are doing more damage than good”; “Ah, I hate street preachers”; “Evangelists just want money”; “Tracts go straight in the bin”; “and they don’t even disciple them”; “They just want another notch on their belt”; “maybe Jesus doesn’t love them”; “it’s so judgmental”; “They are giving the rest of us a bad name”; “They are doing it out of guilt”; “They are doing works”; “If Jesus wants to save them, He will without their ranting”; “and that’s what Bible-bashing is!”; “They are ruining it for the Christians who are quietly building relationships with them”; “That is so unnecessary! Just live a good life and people will want what we have”…
Many Christians have sadly been turned-off evangelism by evangelists that aggressively condemn and speak without love. We find it uncomfortable sometimes seeing evangelism operating outside of the methods that we ourselves believe to be effective or appropriate. We don’t like confrontation and we don’t like to see a small number of Christians giving the rest of us a bad name.
The famous 16th Century evangelist, D.L Moody was criticized by a woman who said, “Mr. Moody, I don’t like the way you do evangelism!”
“Well, ma’am, let me ask you, how do you do it?” Moody asked. She replied, “I don’t!”. Moody’s response was, “Well, I like my way of DOING it better than your way of NOT doing it!”
Don’t be a Jackhammer and don’t be a Fluffy Carpet.
Sometimes there is a time to condemn (or rather, convict people of sin), as Jesus illustrated when he called the Pharasis a Hell-bound brood of snakes, “Snakes! Sons of vipers! How will you escape the judgment of hell?”(Matt 23:33 NLT). Others argue that this is the role of the prophet and not the evangelist or the “every-day” Christian, but speaking the truth of the Bible, in love and in obedience is a biblical thing to do. Giving law to the proud and grace to the humble is biblical and effective. The WORD of God IS effective and we are all called to follow the example of the Prophet, Priest and King, Jesus. Instead of making personal judgements, use God’s Word to shine the light.
There is no need for you to tell people what “you think”. Let people see their own sinfulness and need of a saviour through the reading of Bible verses. Let people’s God-given consciences be convicted of sin in the light of Scripture. The 10 Commandments are like a mirror that shows God’s perfect standards. No-one can stand in honesty and innocence before these 10 mighty cannons. Allow people to self-diagnose by asking open questions that will expose their need for a savior. When you see a humble heart, tell them about the Savior who is loving and merciful. When you see pride and self-righteousness, keep probing and questioning to help them discover their own depravity. Do it all in love and with a humble heart that acknowledges your own need for the Saviour.
Forget about what other Christians think of you. Focus on Evangelism.
Focus your efforts on reaching the lost. Your hard work may or may not produce fruit for them to see on this side of eternity. If it does, then they may be the first to apologise and join you in your evangelism efforts. Remember that we have an all-seeing Heavenly Father, the King and Lord who we need to obey. The narrow road does involve picking up your cross; it does involve sacrifice and ridicule; for some it involves martyrdom.
Be courageous for your King! Forget about “the way of men” and focus on the way of the Master!