Evangelism for All Time, Part 4: Reverse Evangelism

Rick Mattson Apologetics, Evangelism, Religious Pluralism 6 Comments

Heaven?

The previous post on discerning God’s voice is here

Recently I was turned from subject to object, from evangelist to evangelized. As is my custom on the golf course, I got talking with my playing partners about the topic of religion.

They were an older couple bubbling with good humor and grace. Their identification on the 6th hole as “Jehovah’s Witnesses” took me by surprise.

Both have graduate degrees in the field of education.

You can learn something about evangelism when you become the evangelized. This was their approach:

  1. They told a compelling story of their conversion to the JW religion.
  2. They established themselves as thoughtful people by mentioning their strong educational background and commitment to diligent study: “two years of research before becoming JWs.”
  3. They laughed and loved easily. This was the best part for me.
  4. They directed me to the JW website for more information.

Theirs was a simple and straightforward witness, backed by character. They suggested next steps to me, the unsaved, while refraining from preachiness.

JWs descend from a sect in the early church called “Arians” (after their leader, Arius), who rejected the deity of Jesus Christ and the doctrine of the Trinity. No small matters.

I wonder, do we “orthodox” Christians possess the same clear-eyed loving boldness as my new JW friends?

Next post soon to come: Conversation Skills 101

Image by HeungSoon from Pixabay

Comments 6

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  1. Rick, this was a fascinating story that really provoked my thinking. We can learn from unexpected sources about what a good Christian witness is! Your humility in this moment is a good example for us all. I am grateful for the faithful way you lean into your call.

  2. Hey Rick, Thanks for sharing this experience. Just last week on my way to mission in Mexico I sat next to a self-proclaimed atheist. Had a great conversation with him. He shared openly about how he had spent some time exploring the Christian faith, going through an alpha course, and had been engaged to a woman who was a strong believer. Ultimately he was not able to make the step of faith and broke off relationship with her. One of the deciding factors for that was actually her brother who He said had the job of an “evangelist” and relentlessly pursued him on every occasion they were together, to the point that he became ever more defensive and was completely turned off. I listened and gently responded at appropriate times and was then able to share my story and my perspective without any defensiveness emerging, on either of our parts. He vocalized that he really appreciated talking with me. Perhaps another seed sown back into the field of his heart. Lord, may your kindness draw Fergus to you.

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