Linking Others to Christ
I want to challenge you to think a little differently about evangelism than maybe you have in the past; to see every conversation as a chance to create another link in someone’s connection to the Savior.
However, in order to think this way, there is a big evangelism misconception we have to address.
Overcoming The All or Nothing Mindset
This is the thought that every evangelistic conversation is either all or nothing in terms of sharing your faith. Regardless of the context, the amount of time you have, or their current understanding of God, you either present the full gospel in your conversation, or you have failed at evangelism.
I would like to challenge this with a couple stories from my own life.
The first story is pretty short.
As part of a prison ministry team, I spoke to a young prisoner in the yard, shared the gospel with him via a tract and had the amazing opportunity to watch him trust the Lord as His Savior.
The second story requires a bit more explanation.
I had an unbelieving friend whose sister desperately wanted to see him trust in Christ. He was a militant atheist and had no qualms letting me know how silly the thought of a God was to him. We would get together to watch sports, go to movies, or just hang out – and nearly every time, God provided little opportunities for me to share a bit about my faith. Sometimes, we even got into deeper discussions about life, religion, morality, and more. However, while I always spoke from a Christian worldview, I never once felt led to share the gospel with him. It was clear in each conversation that he was just not ready. Ultimately, this friend of mine moved away, and my last engagement with him was to send him an audio book that I thought would challenge some of his worldview assumptions.
Less than a year later, he placed his faith in Christ.
Was I angry or remorseful that I didn’t get the chance to lead Him to Christ? Did I feel like I “misread” the direction from the Holy Spirit and missed out on the opportunity to lead him to the Savior?
God had a different role for me. My role wasn’t to be the final link in his journey to Christ. I actually have no idea who led him to the Lord – but I’m thrilled I got to be a link in the chain of his journey.
Now, which one of these two stories is an example of evangelism?
Both of them! In each encounter, and several others like them, I was hoping for an opportunity to share the gospel, and happy to share whatever the Lord put on my heart at that time.
My point is this: successful evangelism isn’t just a moment in a conversation where you share the gospel. Evangelism is a lifestyle of seeking to glorify God by representing Him in the lives of those you meet. Yes, you are always looking for an opportunity to share the gospel. But what if an unbeliever is dealing with a bad experience at church they were invited to, an abusive situation at home, or struggling with how a loving God could allow the loss of a loved one? Does taking time to work with them through this from a Christian worldview make you un-evangelistic if the opportunity to share the gospel isn’t open during your time with them? I don’t think so.
Whatever role God has for you in someone’s journey to Him, pursue it with passion, seeking to honor Him in all your encounters with others. Walk into each conversation prayerfully, looking for the opportunity to share the gospel, but also accepting whatever opportunity God provides to make Himself known in the life of the one you’re speaking with.
When you do that, you’ll find yourself flourishing in the unexpected adventure that comes with being a link builder.
I’ll leave you with this. It’s one of my favorite quotes from evangelist Cliffe Knechtle.
A person’s coming to Christ is like a chain with many links… There are many influences and conversations that precede a person’s decision to convert to Christ. I know the joy of being the first link at times, a middle link usually, and occasionally the last link. God has not called me to only be the last link. He has called me to be faithful and to love all people.
God has not called you to only be the last link every time. You are to be His ambassador in the life of others in every role He has for you.
PO Box 703929
Dallas, TX 75370-3929