Evangelism Terrified Me - What if God Doesn't Show Up?
Thanks for chatting yesterday. Here is a little of my experience in my evangelism/seeker small groups. Thanks for reading and giving me the opportunity to verbalize a journey that has been so significant for me. God is teaching me in my heart and experiences, not just in my head. He's teaching me about who he is and that he truly does love me! The depth of this is what seems to be hard for me to describe.
I have always known that evangelism is very important, there is no getting around it, but to be frank, it terrified me. If it is so important that means I could really mess it up! Yikes, that is a lot of pressure! What if I don't know an answer? What if someone just says, "No, I don't believe that, go away and stop pushing your beliefs on me." And the ultimate fear, the one, I am not really wanting to admit, I know I cannot do it myself and what if God doesn't show up?
So I came to the Lord with my fears and said, "I am willing, terrified, but willing - show me what to do next". My first step was Spiritual Intersections - the evangelism training put on at CCC. It seemed pretty safe, and as it turned out, I was delighted to have my perspective on evangelism change.
I always felt that to "do" evangelism I had to knock on doors, hand out tracks on the street, or engage people the second I meet them in deep conversations about faith, asking them to make a decision. Not being an extrovert or a great conversationalist this sounded like torture. After taking the class I realized I had some misconceptions about the whole event.
I learned that evangelism is about being intentional, relational and caring for others. It is more about asking questions, learning about them, their interests, favorite foods, their family, etc. It is about sharing life, helping others and allowing them to help you. Naturally, questions may deepen, what they think about the world, their pains, their joys...hmm...this started to sound familiar...it started to sound a whole lot like friendship and love. So, was I willing to initiate friendships and genuinely love others? Was I willing to allow it to not be about me, but about God? Absolutely!
I have now started to lead a seeker small group and I am loving it. The pressure is off, my goal is not to get someone to see my view, to accept my truth, to get a decision made, but to reach out, to love genuinely, to engage with people, to ask questions and allow God to bring up the opportunities to answer questions about Him. What a delight it has been to see God lead. In the process I have grown deeper as I realize I don't have all the answers. It can be so exciting to search and to end up being blessed myself as God's truths sink deeper into my heart and mind. Even as I write this I think, you know, my deepest fear has been my greatest encouragement. Thank you, LORD, what could bring my heart deeper joy than seeing you move, You continually "show up"!