We sometimes make evangelism more complicated than it is. For simple ways to engage your congregation in God’s work of evangelism, click here. Note also the following story told by Brian Allen, executive director of the Joliet, IL Christian Youth Center (thanks to GCI pastor and church planter James Newby for submitting the story).
Social services officials showed up the other night at our neighbor’s home to take away her kids. Apparently, this single mom was considered unfit and the father wanted his two kids back. In spite of known problems in the home, our heart went out to this mom. The situation lay particularly heavy on my wife Carla’s heart, and she rose to action a few days later upon noticing Lisa (not her real name) in her garage. Carla walked over to offer support but noticed Lisa on the phone. Not wanting to interrupt, nor to miss an opportunity, my wife wrote a note of support and left it with her.
Within moments, Lisa was at our door seeking Carla. Together they went over to Lisa’s house, and my wife listened to Lisa’s heart, trouble and pain. For a couple of hours she heard about a life that was broken and feeling hopeless. So hopeless that after losing her kids she was contemplating suicide. Carla listened and offered support and encouragement, as well as a relationship. Though Lisa’s pain and sorrow remain, she was comforted in the fact that someone genuinely cares about her.
After a prayer, my wife was heading out the door to leave when Lisa asked, “Why did you stop by with the note?” Carla looked at her and said, “because you are child of God, and he loves you very much, and so do I.” Lisa leaped into my wife’s arms in embrace, and in tears thanked her for coming over.
After 25 years of ministry, I still am amazed at how complicated we Christians have made evangelism and how “over-decorated” we have made the gospel. A life won’t be transformed, nor will a neighborhood, nor will the world, unless light walks into darkness and says, “The God of the universe loves you, and so do I.”