06 Nov Called to Witness
PS: The thoughts here are a product of a Monday morning rumination while waiting for my cup of coffee. Rambling thoughts? Maybe.
While in Nigeria, I always pondered about the effectiveness (and ‘rightness’) of some witnessing techniques like morning cry and street preaching. Are they still effective or are now considered an invasion of private space or constituting a public nuisance, for lack of a better word to describe it. I question its effectiveness because people are often in a hurry and not many hear a word of what is being preached. Also, I think street preachers tend to focus on judgment and condemnation rather than sharing about the love of Jesus and the good news of redemption.
So how do we witness Christ in a modern world?
During my days in NIFES, we had this teaching series called ‘friendship evangelism’ which as the name implies is witnessing to your friends. Studies show people find it more difficult witnessing to their immediate circle for some reason. I have always believed that this is one of the most effective ways to witness people. In some sense, your friends are your Judea and Jerusalem before you can think about reaching ‘the outermost part of the earth’
This morning, I met this old man who was giving out Gideon bibles in front of the library. Well, they were a group of old men stationed in different parts of the campus giving out pocket bibles. I imagined that was the most they could do as far as witnessing on campus could go. But I was amazed at their dedication, standing out in the cold while waiting for students to come on campus.
I’ve seen evangelism in the form of food banks and charity and of course bible distribution. While that is very important, I have seen it (charity) replace the place of the gospel message. One thing that can make witnessing effectively is a heartfelt prayer for the unsaved. Going back to friendship evangelism, it would be more effective if I can make a list of my friends or colleagues with whom I am trusting God for their salvation and start a prayer project.
Evangelism would not be effective without prayer and the direction of the holy spirit. He would give us strategies to reach different kinds of people. The key thing would however be if we are willing to obey His leading to do what he would tell us to do.
2 Cor 5: 18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us the task of reconciling people to him.