Regarding evangelism, Christians often say, “I just don’t have enough opportunities to witness” or “I don’t know any non-Christians.”
One Bible story that should encourage us and serves as an illustration is Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 11:29–37. It contains some often-overlooked principles that can help us widen our circle of relationships and increase our opportunities to share Christ.
- Our best opportunities often come during our daily schedules. The Samaritan encounters a helpless man while traveling during the day-to-day grind of conducting business. He meets him at his point of need, right where he is, outside of the church (temple or synagogue) walls.
This is an important point about outreach. Sometimes we can become stuck in our routines, thinking that Sunday is the day we go and minister in a church building to those who might darken the door. Yet, as this parable illustrates, Christ’s call to love and reach others should extend to our entire week, integrating ministry and outreach into our daily lives beyond the church walls.
While certainly we cannot stop for everyone, we can ensure that we live our lives in such a way that we are open to the Holy Spirit’s leading by not being held captive to our schedule with our own agendas. We should always be open to the possibility that God may want us to talk with someone or meet a need. Look around, hurting people are everywhere.
- Our greatest need is not necessarily more knowledge, but actually putting what we already know into practice. Sometimes we become paralyzed in evangelism, thinking we have to know more about the Bible, other religions, or advanced apologetics to do a good job. Because of our hesitation, we miss opportunities.
But the passage suggests that the effective evangelist is not always the one who knows the most. The priest and the Levite were experts in the law and could probably quote and defend large sections of it. The person that Jesus points to may not have had much knowledge, but he put what he knew into practice by loving his neighbor enough to stop and get involved.
Being ready and available at any time to put what you know into practice, can radically increase your opportunities in evangelism.
Simply pray something like, “Lord, open my eyes to the people and opportunities around me and help me put what I know into practice.” Then be prepared to watch Him bring you opportunities and use you for His glory.
(Note: This article originally appeared in EvanTell's 2017 Spring issue of Toolbox. Download a free copy!)