Hindi ko nais na tunog erehe ngunit mayroon akong isang observation upang gawing. Aking mga kaibigan Fred noon ay masagana ang ani sa mga tao na humahantong sa Kristo sa ilang unang mga taon ng kanyang buhay Kristiyano bilang siya ay dumating sa labas ng musika tagpo sa Los Angeles at tulis ng isang bagay out sa akin naisip ko na noon ay kawili-wiling. He noticed that the vast majority of people who come to Jesus weren’t so much led to the Lord by someone or by a church that was doing a bang up job of evangelism. He said his role was mostly to befriend folks, to share what God had done in his life then to invite them to church where they could sense the presence of God, pray a simple salvation prayer and the “Deal would be sealed” as he put it. You might call it Presence evangelism more than Informational based evangelism.
Hundreds of books have been written from the perspective that it’s the church’s responsibility to do the working of evangelism – and to a degree that’s right. It’s of course clear from Scripture that Believers play an important part in leading people to the Lord. Let’s not entirely change that equation. At the same time we need to recognize what God is doing as well – that a big percentage of people worldwide are being directly engaged by the Holy Spirit directly by various means other than linear means of evangelism.
If this is true what does it imply regarding our evangelism approaches? We need to be doing a lot of seed planting. We need to find some measure of satisfaction in the ministry of nudging many toward Christ whether they actually come to know Christ through us or not. As Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 3:6, it’s about planting, watering as well as harvesting. Before there is a harvest it’s necessary to diligently plant and water. Sometimes there is a lot of repeated planting and watering before a harvest comes about. My professor friend George Hunter agrees with me – on average in our day it takes a person about 12-20 revelatory connections for a person to be converted. In his words, “Steve, that’s a lot of toilets that need to be cleaned.”
I’m going to continue to proclaim the Gospel as clearly as possible to as many as possible. At the same time I recognize God is quietly, persistently up to something dynamic in the hearts of many we will perhaps never engage in conversation.