All Christians are called to evangelism, but few actually share their faith. There are a number of reasons for that, but we believe one of the reasons is that people simply think about evangelism in the wrong way.
Many people think it means you have to go up to a stranger with a pamphlet in their hand and ask them what they think about God or what will happen to them when they die. Sure, for some people that blunt-instrument approach may work, but for most people it’s awkward and intimidating. That’s why Indigitous asked attorney and author Anna Rapa to share about a more relational approach to introducing people to Jesus.
Imagine a dinner party
“Imagine what it would be like if you’re at a dinner party … and you have this really great friend that you loved that you were going to introduce to this other really great friend that you loved,” Anna says. You wouldn’t make a long, complicated presentation. You wouldn’t quiz your friend about his beliefs. You would simply introduce your two friends, tell each a little bit about the other, and then step back and let them talk. “What if we looked at evangelism like that?”
That is the idea behind Anna’s approach of personal evangelism. It isn’t about helping people to know or understand all the right things. It’s not about making a persuasive argument based on logic. It can be easy to get caught up in theology or in discussing specific aspects of God., but to Anna, the focus should always be on God Himself. “Evangelism is more about introducing people to the actual person, not the ideas about the person,” Anna says.
“What if we looked at [evangelism] and said, ‘what can I do to introduce you to a God that I know because He’s important to me, and He’s part of my life, and I worship Him with my life and I want to share that part of me with you?’” Anna asks.
Indigitious will share more videos from Anna as she gets specific on how to do that, but for now she gave the following steps:
- Take time to know God in a personal way. Have a personal conversation with God about your life. Invite Him into every part of your daily life. “Build up a wealth of stories about how He’s been faithful, about how He’s been good, about how He has showed up time and time again,” Anna says.
- Make your introductions. Introduce God as someone you know, not as theory, theology, or logic. One way of doing that is by saying, “This is a time and a place in which God has interacted with me in a powerful way and this is how it affected me,” Anna suggests.
- Get out of the way. It can be easy to think this is on you, that you must help the person be saved. But you can’t save anyone; only God can. “Allow the personal God who is YHWH, who over the course of history has pursued people and pursued relationships with people. What if we allowed them to get to know each other?” Anna asks.
- Pray for God to move in their life. Prayer is one of the most important things you can do, because though you are limited in your abilities, God can do all things. Pray for God to meet that person and for a relationship to form.
Editor’s note: This is the first in a four-part series on personal evangelism with Anna Rapa.