Evangelism is about as popular as adults wearing underoos.
Although I wouldn’t argue against a comeback of both, I wouldn’t want to see the two activities combined.
That would be very strange.
And evangelism already has a bad rap as a strange activity.
Perhaps it deserves it. Perhaps strange people have made it look stranger than it is. Unnatural encounters. Awkward conversations. Stupid presentations. Perhaps we feel that others have “screwed it up for the rest of us”.
But perhaps it’s always going to be something that requires boldness as evidenced by Paul’s prayer request for it at the end of every epistle. I’m not sure why Paul prayed for boldness.
Was it because he faced beatings, stonings, scourgings and imprisonment as opposed to the raised eyebrows and looks of consternation we encounter?
Nonetheless, we often shun it so much that we’d probably rather wear underoos to work than share the gospel with another human person.
But wanting to doesn’t really factor in. That’s why Paul asks for prayer. There was something deep inside him compelling him to go forward and press on despite the danger.
That something was the love of Christ.
“For the love of Christ compels us” (2 Cor 5:14).
That wasn’t the love of Christ for him, but the love of Christ for others. It was inside of him “as if Christ were in us persuading men ‘Be reconciled to God’.”
The love of Christ isn’t something you can turn on and off like a light switch. Back when I quit ministry after a bad church experience, I told God “I like you, but I don’t like working for you. I quit.” Yet behind a bar at Starbucks, making coffee, I reached out to the people around me because it was who I was. It was who I was in Christ.
Or maybe it’s best said that it was who he was in me.
Christ was in me, and he was still reaching out through me whether the church gave me a paycheck or not. I believe that one of the signs that Christ is in us is if he’s working out of us.
Evangelism isn’t something that anybody likes doing, but that compulsion to share Jesus is a proof of life.
Proof of his life within us; a sign that you’re saved.
Think of it as the spiritual urge to wear underoos in public even when you know it’s not acceptable. Or don’t. Yeah, maybe it’s better you don’t think about it like that.
Watching people admit they hate it but unable to deny the pull of evangelism is one of the reasons I’m excited about my next book called “Reaching the Unreached”. I unpack why I hate people, and need Jesus to love them through me every day. In that way I’m like Paul, and probably you are too. It’s one of the best kept secrets of the Bible.
Reaching the Unreached drops in May, but is already available for pre-order.
If you’d like to pick up a copy of it now, head over to Amazon and reserve your copy. It’s also 6 bucks cheaper at the moment.
If society forced you to wear underoos to work, what character would you pick?