Evangelism is enhanced when we look for creative ways to buy up opportunities by serving people and meaningfully touching their lives with no strings attached.
• When people have little needs, seek to meet them. Do it in a sincere, nonchalant way, not in a fawning, servile way. Can you pick up the sandwich that they order every day from the deli? If you both need wood chips, could you pick up a few bags for him? Might you care for their dog or bring in their mail when they’re on vacation?
• When people are hurting, help and visit them. If you see Cindy walking with crutches from her car, something has probably happened in her life. That is the time for you to do something for Cindy … make a meal, create a bouquet with flowers from your garden, or even go out and buy a card and write an encouraging note in it. Try to give it to her face to face. Conversation may happen naturally. She is like you. We humans have so much in common. We love to be loved. The Lord loves us immensely, and the most direct way our neighbors can experience His love is through our hands and our voice.
• Prayer is meaningful to some. If they have been laid off and are looking for work, or someone in their family is sick, you might tell them that you’ll pray for them. DON”T FORGET to write it down, pray for the issue, and then follow up later to see how things are going. Tell them you have prayed for them and the situation. People really care about what is near to them – their children, their job, their health, their parents, etc. Write it down, pray it up, and follow it through!
If they’re really facing imminent hardship (like the death of a close relative, or heading back to the front lines in a war), ask them if you can pray for them right there where you’re standing. Many people truly appreciate that. Some believers even do this in the mall as an evangelistic tool (“prayer evangelism”).
• Let them help you. Letting people help you might sound strange, but if you always have your act together, you will lack authenticity and transparency. They don’t want your image as a friend. When they mow your lawn because you’re sick, or when they learn your child has a learning disability and they give suggestions or share a story, they are drawing closer.
Excerpt from “Fostering the Harvest,” a workshop on evangelism by Biblical Ministries Worldwide. This resource is available at Amazon.