We are at the end of the “back to basics” ideas I asked us to consider as we started our interim journey together. They were: PRAY, ATTEND, GIVE, INVITE. At our worship times this weekend, I will be looking at the last one, INVITE. So often we have a negative connotation of evangelism and we really don’t know how to go about witnessing to our faith in Jesus Christ. Many times, we have experienced first-hand someone who perhaps came on a little strong!
I remember back in high school there was a burger and shake place we all liked called “Andy’s Igloo.” I was able to take my grown son, Jesse, there to have one of their huge and delicious milkshakes. I think you can tell by the photo that the shakes are still mighty tasty! Back many years ago, when I was a teen, I had an interesting experience in line at Andy’s.
I’d been out hunting with my best buddy, Morgan, and we stopped for a shake. The dairy bar side had a walk up window, so there was a line. While we were waiting our turn, a young man with a really big black Bible came over to us and asked loudly, “Brothers, Are you saved?” Morgan and I were indeed saved and very active in our church in youth fellowship. But, I was still a little “rough around the edges” I suppose because I immediately engaged the fellow with the snarky response, “From what?” Oh my, that was the wrong thing to say! We got the full, unabridged presentation of the Gospel from Adam to John’s Revelation! I don’t even remember if we got to order our treat.
For many of us, “evangelism” takes on these kinds of pejorative connotations and conjures up images that make us uncomfortable. This weekend, I will be discussing the importance of inviting others. And, yes, that is evangelism. Be ready to have your fears and apprehensions quelled. Genuine evangelism and sincere invitation can (and should) be as natural as saying, “Good morning!” We have been given the most incredible “good news” in the entire scope of creation and we have the opportunity and privilege to share that with others.
Sometimes I wish I had a bit more zeal like that man had back at Andy’s those many years ago. But I also realize, that God gives each of us personalities and gifts that are unique and useful to the Kingdom. Whatever I have, whoever I am, I am to bring myself fully to the Lord so that God can use me to convey the blessing of “good news” to others.
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” Peter 3:15