Last month I sent out a message about an evangelism assignment I had for a class I’m taking while my family and I are on the road. I wrote about the difficulty I was having with initiating a conversation about the gospel. I also wrote about the essence of the gospel and encouraged people to pass the message to others. Many people wrote back about ideas for evangelism and many also shared the gospel presentation I wrote with others.
However, this did not end the assignment. I still needed to learn how to approach people with the gospel.
Last week we were on the California coast about an hour north of Los Angeles. I knew my assignment date was coming to a close so last Sunday, when we were visiting a local church, I made a point of staying after to ask the pastor if there were any evangelistic efforts taking place during the week. He introduced me to a couple of guys who work something called a Jesus booth on Friday nights.
The idea of a Jesus booth is that you set up a small stand with information and some catchy signs with the intent of generating conversation which will lead to a gospel presentation. We set up in Ventura on the corner of Main and California Street. This is the party area of town with dozens of bars and even more restaurants. We passed out tracts and tried various methods of initiating conversation. One that worked well was a sign which said something like, “$20 if you can prove you are a good person.” People would stop and say, “Really? You will really give $20?” This would lead into a discussion of what it means to be good, the concept of sin, and the need for a savior. No one collected the $20.
This was a great learning opportunity for me and I had several opportunities to share the gospel message. One young man in particular really touched my heart. His name was Quan. I think he was about 18 and showed a genuine interest. I walked with him and shared what I believed was a complete gospel message. At the end I asked him if he could think of anything that would keep him from believing in Jesus for the forgiveness of sin right now. He started to cry and shared about all the death he had seen over the last several years. Many of his relatives had been killed, and when he was 15 his best friend was shot and killed right before his eyes. He said he would continue to think about what we had shared and then hugged me and sincerely thanked me.
Another man was mad at all the hypocrites in church – and after I told him I was pretty upset about that as well, he listened intently to the gospel message. The rest of his group pulled him away at what I thought was a critical point, but this too is a lesson in trusting the working of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we just plant.
Another girl stopped to talk as we were packing up for the night. I talked with her about sin and asked her if she died tonight and stood before God, why did she think He would allow her into heaven. She said that she had tried hard and done her best. It was interesting that she knew all the Bible stories and that Jesus had died on the cross, but she had never really put it all together that the sacrifice of Jesus and our faith in that sacrifice is what provides a way for us to be with God for eternity. Sometimes we water.
1. Evangelism is still necessary and can still be effective. Being around church and seminary all the time it is so easy to forget that there are people who have never heard – and many, many who do not understand.
2. Not everyone will be offended – not everyone will be rude. Some will be genuinely thankful that you took the time to share.
3. Keep the focus on the gospel message. It’s easy to be pulled off track onto side issues – so remember to guide things quickly back to the gospel.
I’m very grateful for this project. Without the pressure of an assignment I would have never found myself talking to someone on the street about Jesus. I pray that my boldness will continue to increase!
Thank you for all your prayers and encouragement with this evangelism assignment.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries