When I was young, I felt God was calling me to share my faith. I was nervous, and I ignored this holy nudge more than once. (More than twice… Quite often to be honest.) Even today, I find sharing my faith with strangers to be a bewildering and yet beautiful experience. I say that so you know that I am in no way an expert on evangelism. So take what I say next from this very humble, broken perspective.
While I know evangelism makes us uncomfortable and it’s been done in a lot of strange and damaging ways over the years, I’m struck with an idea.
If it’s true. If God really did change our lives. If we really are better because of our faith. Then why wouldn’t we want to at least make this an option for other people too? I mean, if it’s a good thing, than there has to be a way to share it in a good way too.
NewChurches.com did an extensive study of ways new churches are reaching out to their communities to see if one way was more effective than any other. The areas included everything from community events, sports programs (i.e. Upward), door to door invites, to large mailers. What they found is that regardless of which method a new church used, they all helped them reach unchurched people:
“The data is clear. Evangelism is not easy, but it may not be as difficult as we might think. The data informs us that simply doing something might be more effective than crafting an elaborate strategy. Churches who do something, in respect to evangelism, are churches who are much more effective than churches who don’t." (www.Newchurches.com)
The good news (no pun intended) is that ANY way of reaching out to new people is better than doing nothing at all.
We don’t need to stop doing evangelism simply because the way we’ve seen it done makes us uncomfortable. Instead, let’s get over the discomfort and find a different way to do it, because any way is better than nothing at all.
Do you have any strategies for reaching and inviting new people into the faith?
What has worked for you?
What form of evangelism gets you excited?