“Do you know Jesus?”
“What? Yeah, I know Jesus.”
“No. I mean do you know him as your personal Lord and Savior? Do you know that he died for your sins on a cross and rose from the dead three days later?”
This conversation happened between two guys at a bachelor party I was at several years ago. We were on a houseboat making our way down the St. John’s River when we came upon who we thought to be river pirates or drug lords or some kind of satanic cult or all three (this is a true story). My buddy Ryan, thinking we were going to be killed, turned to the guy next to him and said, “Do you know Jesus?”
Now my buddy Ryan did present the gospel and if the person he was talking to accepted what he said, he would have been saved. Not saved from dying at the hands of the potential pirate/drug dealing/satanic cult members, but saved from hell. Now the circumstances forced this kind of rapid-fire evangelistic approach, but there has got to be a better way to do evangelism.
This morning I was having coffee with a guy who is part of our church…let’s call him “Freddy” and he was telling me about a friend he runs with…let’s call him “George”. George is an atheist and one of the kindest people you will ever meet, and my friend Freddy really wants him to know Jesus but hasn’t been able to get him to come to Summit or even really talk about Jesus in a meaningful way with him. (George actually showed up at the same coffee shop while we were talking about him and I got to meet him. God is funny.)
Anyway, over the course of our coffee, Freddy, who has been going through reGROUP for sex addiction, told me that one day after running, he opened up to George about his struggle with porn and the things he’s put in place to help him avoid porn. George, who is a casual consumer of porn (with his wife’s approval) and sees it as just another form of entertainment, was shocked by what he believed to be extreme measures that Freddy was taking and started asking all kinds of questions about why.
Freddy shared with George the ways in which porn had wrecked his life and began to paint a picture for George of what God had in mind when he thought up sex and how he longed for that more. Maybe Freddy hasn’t yet had the conversation that my buddy had on that houseboat and maybe it will never be had like that, but Freddy is moving toward George with an openness that can only be explained by the gospel which says we are all broken and messed up and so bad that God’s own son had to die for us, but so loved that he chose to.
We say around here a lot that your story told truthfully is good news for others. As Freddy tells his story to George, he is inviting George to see the gospel in a way that he most likely wasn’t expecting.
We don’t have to be theologians or biblical scholars or have all the answers to invite people into the good news of Jesus Christ. We just have to have a story…and we all do! And if we’re willing to tell that story truthfully, it will be good news for those who don’t yet know Jesus.
Led by Zach Van Dyke, our four-week Reconstructing Evangelism class will help each of us to know more about who God is so that we can better share that truth with those we care about. Over the course of this class you will be equipped for and encouraged toward meaningful conversations with people that matter deeply to God.