I remember all the altar calls in the Nazarene church when I was young and living with an aunt and uncle. They’d have a message, they’d have the songs over and over again, people would go up to the altar as the pastor said, “just one more moment, Jesus is waiting…” I went up many times. I recall one time as my conversion moment. I really do believe I did trust Christ and was saved, though I will say I’m not sure it was a moment in time so much as something the Holy Spirit did in me. I was already a kid who believed in Jesus and had some understanding of Him and what He did as well as in my sin and how much I needed Him as my Savior. I did pray often, did think of Christ being with me all the time. I had a child’s understanding, and I must say my faith was strong. I needed my faith to be this way when I was a child, I had it hard (I know many of us do…and many have it harder than I ever did). I was shuffled from family to family, house to house. I was abused by my aunt and uncle, and yes, wire hangers do hurt and leave welts. Still, I believed and prayed to Jesus daily, was convicted of my sins and frequently prayed for forgiveness. I was pretty humble as a child as I think back. Through moves into different households, through step parents and divorce, through it all, I knew I was saved. So, how to share this with others? I did get some opportunity to tell others about Christ as a teenager. I recall speaking with a girl who was very depressed, I went with her to lunch instead of church actually. I had been going to church in my small town and they had small bible study groups in homes before service. She was there and had expressed some scary statements, cannot remember exactly what. I spoke with her and prayed, I think. I don’t know if she ever expressed faith in God, but I feel I did the right thing that day.
In college, I was in Navigators. I learned the bridge illustration. Basically, you draw two sides of a canyon with a wide seperation. Man is on one side, and God on the other (represented by the words “man” and “God.” We were taught to use verses like, “the wages of sin is death” and those which show the seperation from God. Then, you draw the cross as a bridge. There are verses like John 3:16 and others showing that you must believe and receive (the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord). You can ask the person where they are on this bridge…are they far, far away on their side of the canyone? Have they taken any steps to being close to the bride? Do they believe but maybe haven’t received? Somewhere in there is an opportunity to pray, and ask forgiveness for sins.
I tried this immediately my freshman year on a friend of mine from high school that was visiting. I told her about heaven and hell, we talked about her place on the bridge. I ended up scaring her to death, she thought I was in a cult, and she NEVER came back to visit me. It wasn’t that I told her some deep truth, I gave her the fly by gospel really. Then I pressured her.
I don’t know how to evangelize properly, really. My best experiences have been in just being friends with people, and writing online. People have read my journal elsewhere and some argue and are offended, others are inspired. I’ve had some “try” Christianity. I have presented my life and often have written songs and scriptures I like. I have shared experiences in miscarriage, job loss, friendship issues (without names) and church issues. I have wrestled with topics of faith. All of this just dumped in my online journal. My joys with my kids, my struggles as a mom. I try to encourage friends and other Christians in their walk. I try to serve when I see a need. I try to be a friend, to be a decent neighbor, and to live my life well hopefully in God’s sight though I know I fail. I have given to missions when I felt I could. I have talked to agnostic/nominal church goers in my family about my faith, and I have taught my children as best I know how. I know it’s likely I have still failed to do all I need to, all that I should to show I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. I learned bad methods to begin with, and find that some of evangelism is about how you live, some is about just being faithful to the God I love and serve, and some is about serving others with out complaint. Much is about teaching my children well, and being ready when people ask questions or get into conversations about faith. It’s also about being willing to make the most of the opportunities God gives. I think it’s important to share your life with others so they can see God working in you, and it’s also important to know God’s word in scripture when talking or writing to others so His gospel can be presented accurately.
Beyond this, I do not know anything more for me to do. Maybe God will convict me otherwise, but for now, this is all I know.