2/22/10 Chris, 54
I am a "coach" for Tony, a small group Bible study leader in our church. Instead of just meeting to catch up on and pray for his group, we decided to put our faith into action and initiate a witnessing conversation first. At a south loop deli, we talked to Chris, a rock musician turned producer who is heavily involved in new age beliefs such as reincarnation, karma, and channeling positive energy through the wide variety of Native American jewelry he was wearing. We had a wide-ranging discussion over coffee for almost an hour, during which I was able to bypass Chris' many intellectual arguments against Christianity by appealing to his conscience. Though he views himself as a good person deserving of heaven if there is one, the truth is that Rich can't even live up to his own moral standards, not to mention God's commandments as revealed in the Bible. We ended our conversation on a positive note, agreeing to disagree, with Chris clearly challenged not by my intellectual arguments but by the Moral Law acting upon his God given conscience.
Tony was one of the first people to accompany me on a few of my early awkward witnessing attempts over a year ago and now he said he can definitely see how much I have improved. I told him that evangelism is not a spiritual gift for a select few as some want to believe, but it is rather an act of obedience that, with practice, one can improve upon. (That passage in Ephesians that seems to treat evangelism as a special gift really refers to the office of Evangelist in a church as the one who trains the rest of the church in evangelism. All followers of Jesus are called to be "fishers of men" in some form or another).