Saturday, April 29, 2006

Telemarket Evangelism

"When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, "The kingdom of God is near you." But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, "Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near." — Luke 10:8-11

One of the greatest things about my husband’s and my living abroad is that we do not have a home phone. Which means when we sit down for dinner at 7 pm, the phone does not ring with someone selling something. In some circles Christians are seen similarly: as people who are waiting to sell you the next best thing the second you pick up the phone, open the door, or welcome them in. It can come across as a hidden agenda and leave a bad taste with a non-believer.

When Jesus sent out the seventy-two messengers he told them that the harvest was great. He sent them out to the villages with specific instructions. He told them to find the people of peace. He encouraged believers to seek those who welcomed them and welcomed God’s message. These people were called people of peace. I like this “style” of evangelism. Instead of studying the Bible in order to rattle off facts to those we meet in a grocery store, I believe we always need to be prepared to convey the gospel message to the people of peace God puts in our lives.

My mother has brought this to light for me in some of her recent exchanges with close friends and family. She is not someone who I would ever have considered to be a bold evangelist. But in recent months, she has been the greatest example of an evangelist I have seen. She is simply coming alongside others in their time of need and responding to what life is bringing them, to share with them who Jesus is and to encourage them through the hope found in Christ. She is not pushing herself into situations or forcing people to listen. She is simply being sensitive to God’s timing.

If you have found yourself struggling with a more aggressive style of evangelism, rather than giving up, I encourage you to simply try engaging people in discussion, naturally and unforced, being prepared to share the hope of Christ that is within you.

1. Who are the people of peace God has put in your life?
2. Pray that God would show you clearly the opportunities He has given you to share His truth with others.

Luke 10:1-16; 1 Timothy 6:18; 2 Timothy 4:1-8; 1 Peter 3:15

Kelly McFadden


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