By the grace of God I’ve served as an evangelism trainer (and trainee!) for four decades. And again by the grace of God I’ve shared Christ with many.
From these experiences I’d like to suggest some ideas about evangelism for you and your campus or church.
To begin, I’ll mention that my wife Sharon and I are big fans of the Rick Steves travel shows on PBS. From the comfort of our living room we’ve traveled with him all over Europe, 100% on the cheap.
We’ve noticed that in almost every episode of “Rick Steves’ Europe” the affable host weaves in religious topics such as church history and architecture, Christian art, various faith practices, and even Bible and theology. It all rolls out of him so naturally. Nor does he ever stumble or blush for fear of offending an audience.
This is great evangelism because Steves is just being himself. He appears to love God and people, as well as the rich history of the European church, even while candidly noting its flaws.
Steves’ faith fits snugly into his vocation of professional travel guide. He has no special agenda of evangelism per se (that I know of), and that’s what makes him so effective at evangelism.
Most likely Rick Steves and I would disagree on certain theological matters. No matter. I admire him for talking about the topic of God as if it were a favorite restaurant or a wonderful weekend read.
My first suggestion, then, is to think of ourselves as witnesses of Christ simply in who we are as people. Evangelism starts with our “being” in Christ, then flows out naturally into conversation and work.
This is the pattern of John 15, where we are to “remain in the vine” and subsequently “bear much fruit.” Being precedes doing. We are evangelistic because Christ is evangelistic, and he speaks through us.
Recently I was kidding around with a friend about the church and its public reputation, and he mentioned in passing that he’d gone to confession as a boy, though never since. Christ in me and Christ through me replied, “Hey, confession before the Lord is still good for the soul! I do it all the time. Plenty of material there to bring before the Lord.” And the convo went on from there . . .
I guess that was me simply being myself. Taking that approach will, in my view, be our best evangelism.