What we win them with, is what we win them too …
Lately Trav has been sharing his thoughts on evangelism so I thought I would share a few of mine. How we become Christians ourselves seems to have a big bearing of how we view evangelism. People who become Christians at a camp are often keen to run camps and sometimes even want to run church services in a ‘camp style’. Others who become Christians at large youth gatherings, like Youth Alive, are keen to attend these events and again have a preference for running church services in a similar format to these meetings. As I’ve noticed this phoneme, I wondered is it because when we become Christians, at whatever kind of function it was, it was such an impacting time that we continually try to recapture it?
My experience of becoming a Christian is perhaps a little different. I grew up in a family that didn’t attend church, though I was sent to Sunday school rather irregularly as a child. Rather unexpectedly and without warning, when I was thirteen I decided to start attending church. In retrospect this was amazing! Why would a thirteen year old make such an unusual decision? I remember reading a job description about an air hostess and amongst a lot of other things it was commenting that a church minister was a good person for a referee! Possibly that one thought started a chain reaction in my thinking. I had very few friends and had little to do on the weekend, why not go to church for something to do? Nevertheless it was rather odd and I can only think that God was stirring in my heart.
So one Sunday morning I just turned up at church! I was invited to morning tea after church where I met the youth group leader and was invited to youth group. About 9 months later I went to a camp and became a Christian the night after camp.
I have heard many testimonies of how people become Christians. Yet when I thought about my own experience I was somewhat perplexed. I didn’t have praying relatives and hardly knew any Christians prior to becoming one myself. It seemed that God had called me to Himself without much help from other Christians. I began to think why doesn’t God work this way with everyone? Why doesn’t God plant the idea of just turning up at some Christian function in every unbeliever’s heart? Why only mine? I came to understand that in actual fact God does. But not everyone hears or responds to God calling them. In fact most people need a physical person showing and telling them what it means to be a Christian. Though as Christians it helps us to know that God is already working in the heart of the person before we even show up.
It is an interesting thing though that what we win people with (camps, meetings etc.), becomes what we win them too (that is what they want to repeat doing, especially in terms of evangelism).