In a paper I wrote on Weaving Evangelism into Discipleship, I suggested, for some churches and ministries, evangelism is an awkward appendage, disconnected from daily life. It feels similar to a house with only one room with electricity. On isolated occasions you go to that room, “the electricity room,” whenever you need to access electric current. Far better to wire the entire house for electricity.
Likewise, far better to “wire” our Christian experience so that evangelism is woven into daily life.
Here are three ways to weave evangelism into your daily life:
1) Through your daily prayers: Assuming you have a regular time for connecting to God through prayer (no easy discipline!), it is worth the effort to build in prompts to pray for non-believers. If you use a prayer journal, have a section where you list the “outsiders” God has brought your way. Perhaps you’ll want to have a bookmark-sized card in your Bible with a list of names of your “10 Most Wanted.”
2) Through specific prayers for specific people on specific days: Why not include in your daily prayers (along with, “Lord, may I bring glory to you today…help me to resist temptation today…please open that door for the promotion at work today…etc.”) something like this, “Lord, please bring non-believers my way today and may I recognize such divine appointments as opportunities to point them to you. Give me boldness, wisdom, and grace.” Or, “Lord, what appointments do I already have set up with non-believers? Help me to see you as Lord of my daily schedule.”
(I began that section with “Why not…” Well, I’ll tell you why I don’t pray that kind of prayer more often. Because I don’t want God to answer it! If he does (and he’s rather good at answering prayers), I’ll probably be placed into the awkward position of witnessing. So…I do want to pray that prayer, despite the difficulties, but I often add an extra plea: “God, please help me to trust you in those situations that you design. May it be that your glory and the other person’s salvation will be more important to me than my comfort.”)
3) As part of your social networking: You probably update your Facebook page or send out emails or tweet or engage in some other social networking activity on a pretty regular basis. Why not (see above) give some thought to how you might select a few non-believers and push the gospel-dialogue a little further. If evangelism can be a process and not only an event (I should probably blog about that sometime soon…check back…), then ask God for creativity to take the next step. It can begin with a prayer, “God, who’s the next person you want me to check in with? What would be the next step? Is there a link to a website that I can send to them? Is there something in the news that points to the theme of redemption or forgiveness or grace or judgment or eternity?”
All of these steps require boldness. Ask God to help you reflect on all that he has done to reach you. Let that fuel your efforts to reach out to those God brings your way and weave evangelism into your daily life.
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Randy Newman has been with the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ since 1980 and currently serves with Faculty Commons, their ministry to university professors. He ministers on campuses and elsewhere in our nation's capital to students, professors and policy shapers. He is an honors graduate from Temple University and has a Masters of Divinity degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he is also engaged in doctoral studies. Randy is a Jewish Believer in Jesus and is the former editor of The Messiah-On-Campus Bulletin. He is the author of numerous articles and the books Questioning Evangelism: Engaging People's Hearts the Way Jesus Did and Corner Conversations: Engaging Dialogues about God and Life, both published by Kregel Publications, and Bringing the Gospel Home: Witnessing to Family Members, Close Friends, and Others Who Know You Well, forthcoming from Crossway.
To find out more, visit his blog, Connection Points.