If we want to impact people’s lives the way Jesus did, it is going to get messy. Jesus dealt with Pharisees, prostitutes and intellectuals. Jesus built relationships by making time for people. Our role in the world is to be “salt and light” in our actions and lifestyle. First, It is important to understand that we don’t need to force the gospel upon people. I have seen many times people make decisions based solely upon emotion and have been fed a “half-gospel” where there is no understanding of following Christ with their whole life. We must do our part of being a student of not only God’s Word but of the culture we live in. Paul did not try to “fix’ people before they came to Christ. Paul’s view on reaching people was, “I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.”
Secondly, in order to impact our communities for Christ, we must be willing to engage them in daily conversations. We must be willing to listen to people’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs. In order to change the way people view the gospel, we need to each individual’s understanding of the gospel. Once we understand their background, we need to be faithful to present the gospel in a clear and relevant way.
Thirdly, we need to realize that we are not able to change people. We are the messengers of the gospel. Let’s just face it; people have a lot of baggage. Because of today’s culture of single family homes, depression, and moral relativism we need to be willing to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading and keep asking wise questions to bring out people’s “hang-ups” and issues. Once people know that we care about their thoughts and feelings, we will diffuse their frustrations with Christianity and be able to help them see their true state before God.
Lastly, A misconception of evangelism that I have seen is that we must follow a certain evangelistic program in order to share the gospel. I believe it is important for believers to share their faith using their own testimony as the focus. Many times people would follow an outline and it would seem “choreographed” and not real. I am not saying that people shouldn’t follow a clear presentation with points but we must not lose our own personality as we share the truth of Jesus Christ. Dealing with people is tough, but with the power of the Holy Spirit we can see many lives changed by Jesus Christ.