This article first appeared in Baptist Life. October- December edition. You can see the original here.
Whenever one of my three children faces a challenge the other two start a kind of chant which I join: ‘You can do it, you can do it!’ It brings a smile to the face of the one struggling and some renewed confidence as they stand with a rope swing in hand ready to jump or face a steep hill to bike up.
I’m a street evangelist – sounds scary. The number one question I am asked as I teach different groups of Christians up and down the UK is usually something like: ‘How can you do what you do?! What response do you get?’ It often surprises those who question me to find that on the contrary to criticism I am often thanked by people for sharing my faith! However, despite the positive encounters, like most of us, I still find faith-sharing a scary adventure. Can I let you into a secret of how I manage to get over the fear-factor? It’s simple really. I always work with others. It’s when we collaborate with nervous fellow brothers and sisters that evangelism takes on a new dynamic.
A couple of months ago I worked in Lincoln to meet church leaders about street evangelism. I took a friend along with me and instead of just meeting to simply talk shop we went and did some outreach in the city centre offering free cold water on a hot day. We gave out hundreds of cups of iced water and were able to talk to people about the free gift of the man who said ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.…’ The day was packed with good news opportunities, but I doubt I would have had the impetus to do that if I hadn’t brought a friend to motivate me. There’s no wonder Jesus sent out his first friends two by two. Recently after teaching a group of Baptists on the Big Hearted Tour a
man commented, ‘I think the barriers to the gospel aren’t in those outside the church but rather inside… we need to get over our fear of talking good news!’ How about making yourself accountable to one or two others in how you are sharing your faith at work
or in your community? Perhaps there are things you desire to do in letting others know the gospel but need a helping hand. Ask someone to join you. ‘You can do it, you can do it!’