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When it comes to evangelism, many Christ-followers focus on the wrong thing. They only define success in evangelism as actually "praying the sinner's prayer" with someone. That's just not true. Take a look at the graphic below:
The "Seed" referenced above is the truth of God's grace and love. As long as we make a positive connection or impact on a person, we have been successful. Every time I have a positive interaction with someone who knows that I am a Christ-follower I have "pushed the ball up the field." I have just made it easier for the next Christ-follower to share their faith with this person. They have opened the door of their heart a bit wider. This takes the pressure off of us when we do share our faith.
This is exactly what it says about the Church in the early years after Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection:
They praised God and were liked by all the people. Every day the Lord added those who were being saved to the group of believers.
- Acts 2:47 NCVAs this group of believers gained respect and were liked by the people around them, new people committed their lives to following Jesus every day. It will be just the same for us. We may not be the one that prays with a person to commit their lives to Jesus. But as long as we're doing our part, God's will is accomplished. Everyone has their part:
I planted the seed, and Apollos watered it. But God is the One who made it grow.
- 1 Corinthians 3:6Something to consider: Older believers need to keep in mind that just as younger generations see the world differently than they do, they will also come to Christ differently. I've spoken with some young believers who can't name the place and time they committed their lives to Christ. One guy told me he was investigating Christianity and started hanging out with an on-campus Christian group. Somewhere along the way he started following Jesus for himself, even though he couldn't put a date on it.
So let's ask God to use us in the process of helping people discover His grace and mercy!