Archives For Evangelism

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When we think of a traveling preacher addressing a crowd, most of us conjure up an image like UNC’s (in)famous Pit Preacher. He stands up in the middle of a public space and loudly proclaims that everyone is going to hell because of their short skirts, rock music, and liberal politics. I imagine he thinks he’s “engaging the public square” with the gospel, much like Paul did in Acts 17.

I can’t speak to the Pit Preacher’s motives, but he’s certainly not the rightful heir to Paul in Acts 17. A quick look shows us that engaging the public square means something completely different. I see 5 insights for engaging people outside the Christian faith:

1. Grieve over idolatry (and do something about it).

When encountering idolatry in a culture, we tend to respond in one of two equally unbiblical extremes: either we share our culture’s idolatry, or we are so offended by it that we run away. But when Paul saw the idolatry of Athens for what it was, it broke his heart. And instead of running away from it in fear, he ran toward it in love.

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Acts 16 contains the stories of three people who were unlikely candidates for the growing Christian movement. There must have been dozens more people there who came to faith, but Luke (the author of Acts) chose to write about just three—a rich religious woman, a slave girl, and a jailor. Why these three?

That’s a question we should always ask when reading the Bible: Why did the author include this? In this case, Luke records these stories to drive home that the gospel really is for everybody. The three people in Philippi represent the three types of people we find all around us—and show us how can we engage them with the gospel.

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The great rain was given in answer to Elijah’s prayers; but not even then the first time he prayed, and we must pray again, and again, and again, and at last the cloud will appear, and the showers out of the cloud. Wait a while, work on, plod on, plead on, and in due time the blessing will be given, and you shall find that you have the church after your own ideal, but it will not come to you all at once.

God may lead you to begin with one or two. Continue Reading…