After teaching on evangelism this weekend at a church, Maria (not her real name) pulls me aside and tells me
Your teaching has relieved a giant burden I’ve been carrying. . ..
It’s Not Our Job
Maria had heard teaching on evangelism over many years that could be summarized like this
- Here is a script to memorize.
- Share that script with as many people as possible.
- Rejoice with those that pray a prayer.
For years, Maria had faithfully obeyed this teaching.
She grew confident in talking to strangers, using gospel tracts, and fine tuning her presentation.
Yet in all her years of energetically “working the program” she hardly ever saw a conversion experience.
In spite of all her confident theology about God working mysteriously, she experienced
- the mounting feelings of disappointment,
- the growing pain of continued personal rejection, and
- the mental energy drained in trying to fight self-criticism.
Her desire to share her faith was diminishing.
She felt totally responsible for all the outcomes.
Evangelism had become a human work.
Evangelism is a burden
One unfortunate emotional side effect of how she heard this teaching was a sense of outrageous and inappropriate burden of personal responsibility.
- If they don’t repent, I’m doing evangelism wrong.
- If they don’t accept Christ, it’s my fault.
- If they don’t repent now, it must be because of some problem in my life.
Even if the teaching stresses God’s working, and the mystery of God’s sovereignty over all our efforts, I still encounter way to many people who have taken on the human responsibility of saving people.
Evangelism becomes a burden after repeated failures and rejection.
Nobody wants to do that all the time.
There are better ways to enjoy life than experiencing rejection every time you talk about faith.
Maria heard me teach on How the How the Holy Spirit draws people to faith.
She saw how God works through a process of bringing people to faith — a conversion to Christ is often at the end of series of key events that God uses.
Watching her respond through the teaching, her face showed evidence of the proverbial “light bulbs” going off.
The emotional burdens that had grown on her from all her rejection experiences in evangelism were fading.
What was building in it’s place was a confidence in God’s sovereignty and a joy that comes with relief from burdens.
She pulled me aside and said
Your teaching has relieved a giant burden I’ve been carrying. . .
She proceeded to tell me how this teaching had
- transformed her view of evangelism,
- helped her to see God’s responsibility
- given her a new fearless freedom to be a vessel in God’s work.
Learn for yourself
I’ve released my entire seminar in English as a 5CD set. Read more here about how to get it.