Relational evangelism

June 24th, 2008

One of the things we talked about last night was the effectiveness of various outreach philosophies. We talked about what we have seen work and what has not. After some discussion we came to the conclusion that evangelism works best in the context of relationships. No surprise there I guess?

This got me thinking about how I go about relational evangelism and what has worked for me in the past. Here’s a few random thoughts on what I have done that seems to have worked when I have entered a new workplace or club etc.

1. Natural relationships – I just try to be a friend and get to know people. I don’t try to make friends to evangelise them, but as I get to know people this seems to naturally happen.

2. I am a Christian – I let people know I am a Christian. Again this is done in a natural way. If they ask about my weekend, I might say what we did or mention church. This just opens them up to the idea I am a Christian.

3. Prayer needs – I let people know I pray and that if they ever have any thing that they need prayer for I am willing to pray for them on the spot or during my prayer times. If they are going through a major life crisis I ask if it is ok for our church to pray for them.

4. Questions – During conversations I might let them know that if they ever have any questions about God and stuff they can ask me. This is to open the lines of communication to spiritual things.

5. Bible – I ask if they have a Bible and if they would like one. If they do I give them and Bible and a tract. Again I let them know if they have any questions they can speak to me.

6. Living right – I have found that when you let people know your a Christian, they watch you carefully to see if you really are living out your faith. I try to do my best to follow Jesus in everything I do.

7. Follow up – I ask if they read the Bible or the tract and what they thought. If they accepted Christ I give them some sort of discipleship program for new Christians. This is to help them set a solid foundation for their new faith.

For me these are the things I naturally do in the course of building relationships. All the way through I pray for the people God prompts me to pray for and ask that I will recognise the opportunities God places before me.

I have found that more often than not, people come to Christ. This is as a result of being open to God, being open about your faith, by really living the Christian life and by being the best friend you can be.