Being a purposeful, wise ambassador of Christ, part 2

August 1, 2008

  
I received a few comments on my earlier post with this title, so I decided to write a “part 2″…
         
Both Bobby and Drew wanted to be sure I wasn’t arguing for “be purposeful to make friends with people, wait and wait and wait, and maybe – just maybe, there’ll be a blatantly obvious opportunity for you to tell them about Jesus one of these days…” Amen! I’m certainly not in favor of that approach. You could wait and wait forever… And nobody becomes a believer simply by osmosis – just by being around a Christian. No! We must communicate the full and complete gospel message (Romans 10:14-15).
            
Drew wanted to be sure nobody equated “success in evangelism” with conversion. Amen to that point too! All we can be is faithful… it is God alone who brings fruit. And it is true that the same sun that melts the wax hardens the clay… Faithfulness in evangelism will result in some people being saved, and it will result in others rejecting the message, sometimes even getting very upset. It shouldn’t be surprising to us that people intent on suppressing the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1) would get a little feisty when we hold that same truth up before their eyes and call them to submit to it!
                 
However – I do believe there is more to being an ambassador than accurately presenting the content of the gospel message (even though content is most important). How we present that message also communicates… and if we’re rude, or come off as arrogant and uncaring, or as if Jesus isn’t really that special to us, or as merely going through the motions with a canned presentation, something is lost in that message. I’m sure both Bobby and Drew would agree on this point. 
           
This is a few sections, slightly edited, of an e-mail I wrote to a sister in Christ just before she took a trip out to Maryland to visit family who do not believe in Jesus (I think I wrote it about 3 years ago?). It’s just me passing on things the LORD has taught me regarding evangelism, both from His Word and through experience… including issues related to boldness, purposefulness in communicating the message, and being an Ambassador who represents Christ well in every way… It was good for me to read it again – I’ve allowed myself to wane in some of these things and it was good to be reminded of lessons God taught me before…
             
There is way too much to write, and a lot of it is difficult to express on paper. I’ll pass on what I can, as best I can… We all struggle with things in slightly different ways. With evangelism, I don’t imagine you would struggle with gentleness, but boldness might be a little tougher for you… I don’t know? And since I don’t really know, I have included a broad spectrum of thoughts just in case they are helpful in some way:

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One Response to “Being a purposeful, wise ambassador of Christ, part 2”

  1. Thanks for this post! I haven’t read the first one, but this was so encouraging. I’ve been thinking about this a lot and talking about it with friends. I’ve also been more intentional about talking with people the way i would with close friends who follow Christ. A book I’ve been reading lately that has been very helpful and illuminating is “Christian Mission in the Modern World” by John Stott. Chapter 3 is on the place of Dialogue in missions and evangelism and has been very helpful to me in thinking though these things. It’s very interesting to note how often Paul had conversations and arguments rather than simply declaring things to an unresponsive audience. You gave a good example of the “begging”. There are other places where he seeks to persuade people. It is also interesting to note through the gospels how often Jesus simply had conversations with people in which he asked many questions to lead people to the truth. Thanks again for the post and for your true love and concern for people desperately in need of the Savior.

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