This afternoon I been thinking about a question of one of our members was asking about evangelism. Do Presbyterians believe in evangelism? The word evangelism means “good news” and refers to sharing the good news about God. I think about evangelism as sharing the good news about what God is doing in my life and in the world.
A couple of years ago, I read a book about giving away the faith that compared it to sharing news about a great restaurant you have discovered. I love to eat out. I like a creative, tasty meal prepared in a delightful setting, served by a friendly, competent staff. When Mike and I were in Paris on sabbatical, we tried two different Michelin star restaurants. We did it as cheaply as possible, picking 1 or 2 star restaurants, going at lunch and eating the set menus, but the food was extraordinary and the experience amazing. When my son and daughter in law went to Paris for their honeymoon the next summer, I gave them all of the information about these great restaurants and begged them to try them. Those restaurants should have paid me for the way I sang their praises! Surely my experience of God is more important to me than a meal at a favorite restaurant.
No doubt sharing our faith takes finesse and sensitivity. Many people are not looking for God, though an experience of God might be helpful to them. Our experiences of God are personal and private, and sharing our faith makes us vulnerable. But if we can recommend a good restaurant, or a book that changed our lives, or a movie we thought about for weeks, or a political candidate we believe in… can we not speak of the presence of God that changes our lives?
Evangelism is first about listen to another person’s story – listening hard. It’s about listening to the whisper of the spirit in our hear, and then finding something helpful to say that brings life and peace to another.
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