Making the transition from being someone who talks about doing evangelism to being someone who does evangelism can be scary. Sandy Stinnett describes her first time out with GGM, the fear that she faced, and the impact it has had on her life.
Heart pounding, palms sweaty, nervously looking around and shifting from side to side trying to blend into the brick and mortar all around me. Oh no! Is he approaching me!? I know, I’ll look away. I won’t make eye contact. Better yet, I can pretend I’m reading the ‘Good Person Test’ Gospel tract I’m clutching tightly in my hand. He’s standing right in front of me. What now?! Quick, thrust the tract into his hands and he’ll go away. Oh no! My worst fear! He’s asking me what the tract is about. I silently say a prayer and begin to speak….
Downtown Raleigh used to be a place that I visited only a couple of times, and those times, in the daylight. Last spring I started going downtown and participating in the street evangelism on Friday nights – passing out Gospel tracts, praying for those preaching, and sharing the Gospel with those who have been led by Our Great Savior to pause and ask life-changing questions. Sometimes, as the person walks away I am left with the hope that a seed has been watered and/or planted.
I would like to be able to tell you that I have been doing this sort of evangelism since I became a believer – going on 48 years ago – but, that wouldn’t be true. I am ashamed to say that sharing the Gospel in this way never even occurred to me until recently. I always thought sharing the Gospel in this way was for preachers and evangelists. After all, I shared the Gospel by simply letting the lost see “this little light of mine” so I never had to actually tell someone the “Good News”. Right?
It was through no effort of my own that I changed from passively and contentedly not sharing the Gospel to actively and regularly making an effort to share the Gospel. Give God our Savior the glory! The Holy Spirit convicted me in two areas as a believer. First , I was being disobedient to His command, ‘You did not choose me, but I chose you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last” (John 15:16) . Secondly, how could I proclaim that I loved the lost but had never really shared the Gospel with them?
How could I continue being with friends and family who were lost and not share the Truth with them? After all, I would take the time to discuss the weather and other mundane, non-eternal topics with them: exchanges that will never lead to fruit that will last.
What did I learn about God while standing on that street corner in downtown Raleigh? He is Sovereign! He is Majestic! He is Faithful! He is Kind! He is Merciful! He is Patient! And so much more.
What have I learned about myself on that street corner? First, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). That’s right – it’s about Christ and it’s not about me or mankind. I realized I was missing out on so much because of fear. And let’s face it; the fear is all about self and others and not about our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Secondly, my God didn’t let me stay in my “unavailable” attitude but provided in my life, at the right time faithful believing friends who have a passion for sharing the Gospel. They encouraged me and are willing to help me be better equipped by sharing with me their tools and techniques.
Thirdly, sharing the Gospel isn’t about me or anyone else: it’s about Jesus Christ. I don’t have to worry about whether the person I’m sharing with will be convicted. I just have to share the Gospel and how He has changed my life, just like the Woman at the Well.
The rest of the story is… I survived my first time participating in street evangelism and every time since that first moment of stepping out in faith and obedience to God our Savior. Psalm 27:4 says “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after”. The Lord has changed my heart and my attitude about sharing the Gospel.
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