16.7.05

Good ol' evangelism

TGI Friday! Following last week's success in 'not evangelism' (a new initiative where, too tired to make much of an effort at evangelism, my friend and I just took a walk and proceeded to share the gospel in three chance meetings on the way) we decided to have a go at not doing anything again...

We didn't have to go far. Before long we met a gang of teenagers (there was something about the red cross teeshirts that attracted them) and they asked if we could bless them. One by one they queued up. We brought them the word of God and prayed a blessing for each of them. 10 people within 10 minutes of leaving your front door isn't bad going. Some of those guys had very open hearts and we prayed for them again as we continued on our way.

The experience contrasted with a later moment when I deliberately went up to a guy to tell him that he was loved by God. He was a little alarmed but he took it well enough. I can only pray that that small event might be a turning point for his life, nonetheless the lesson is clear: evangelism is so much easier when it is not a forced issue and people approach you instead. Basically there are far fewer obstacles to deal with.

It was another experience entirely volunteering at the homeless drop-in this morning. A real opportunity to love the poor, we try do exactly that and help them in any way we can, it isn't the right place to push your beliefs on others. Still, amidst all the innumerable questions, people do like to think about God. You can still see those who are open to being disciples. For example we met a young Christian man who'd recently fallen out with his parents and was trying to find his own way, and another who gladly helped us when we needed an extra bit of washing up done. There's something curious about people who are hungry for God, I couldn't define it but it's there.

It's bee a busy day. This afternoon I joined the rest of my household who had been out in Cheylesmore giving out Streetpapers. There were a few small chats and we met some people we knew, shoppers naturally prefer to finish and get home and we were working in a quiet area of the city. But in the evening we had a BBQ and some young friends joined us as we enjoyed a beautiful evening. We gave out a few burgers to passers-by and met someone who used to be around the church which was nice. It wa only as we were packing away that someone came up who very much needed to talk. We exchanged numbers and invited her over for a chat sometime.

We're not always so on the ball when it comes to making opportunities to meet with people. When you live in community you desperately need to do that if you want to avoid moving in the same small circles. We have to keep practicing sharing our faith in any way we can. God's love counts more than anything else.