So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Galatians 3:24

I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Philemon 1:6

FRONT PAGE - here you will find the last 20 postings about recent conversations. Please pray for these people!

The Right to Be Heard

3/5/14 Fabian about 25

How long does it take to “win the right to be heard” when it comes to sharing the Gospel? A youth outreach ministry I worked with for years would say it’s a long process, involving countless hours hanging out with young people on their turf, building trusting relationships. This is the relational evangelism approach. The opposite extreme I think would be the idea that relationships don’t matter at all, that it’s the truth of the Gospel itself that deserves to be heard and can and should be proclaimed without regard to the reaction of its hearers. The relational side would say this direct approach drives people away, while the direct people would say the friendship approach diminishes or negates the urgency of responding to the call to salvation. But do we need to choose one side or the other, or do we see both approaches in Jesus’ ministry and in the early church? For me, I am committed to building relationships especially in the context of my local church, but when it comes to outreach in the streets I believe sooner is almost always better than later when it comes to sharing the Gospel. Almost always. We do need to be sensitive. I was reminded of that in a conversation with a man named Fabian whom I met while he was out walking his dog at the park on a cold winter day. He had recently returned from active duty in Afghanistan. I had no idea what he has been through, and didn’t think I had the right to ask. He said he doesn’t believe in relational God, only a sort of energy source as a higher power. He showed signs of bitterness and a hard struggle with his return to civilian life. In other circumstances, I would try to spend a lot more time getting to know him, but it was cold, his dog wouldn’t hold still, and there was the unknown of his experiences. I felt it best to thank Fabian for our short conversation and for his service to our country, and we parted ways. We need to be bold but we also need to be sensitive in sharing the Gospel. Sometimes it might have to wait. I think this was probably one of those times.

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