Not Today

“Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow” wrote Mark Twain. Ah, the life verse of every procrastinator. Why are “put offers” so common? What makes delay so easy?

Those who practice “doing it later” mention three common motivators: 1) there’s more fun stuff to do, 2) I just don’t feel like doing it and 3) I’d rather be comfortable and not be bothered with it.

Procrastination affects so much of life. Things like getting out of bed, bill payment, clothes washing, house cleaning, arriving at work on time, grass cutting, oil changes, keeping appointments, filing taxes and doing homework. Oh yeah, evangelism.

Many, many saints don’t do evangelism because 1) there’s more fun stuff to do, 2) I just don’t feel like doing it and 3) I’d rather be comfortable and not be bothered with it.

So as an outreach trainer, how do you respond to those reasons for avoiding evangelism? Here are some suggestions. First, if you find someone interested in outreach, applaud their interest. Interest is a big first step so verbally affirm them for being curious about something that they might not feel like doing. Then, ask them what stirs their interest. The answer will give you insight into what motivates them. Next, pick them up, take them with you, and let them join you in coffee with a lost friend. Show them that it’s fun and no harder than ordering a latte.

You certainly don’t have to save this one for last, but when you feel it’s needed, pointedly challenge them. Jesus did this with three procrastinators in Luke 9:57-62. But like Jesus, offer constructive solutions to his delay. In his responses, Jesus indicated that comfort, present tense thinking and fun are not kingdom values. At the same time, he offered the challenges of discomfort, forward thinking and work.

You might also share what Augustine said: “God has promised forgiveness to your repentance, but He has not promised tomorrow to your procrastination.” Finally, like Christ, leave the choice to your friend.

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About Rick Oglesby

Rick has worked as a church planter, pastor, missionary, Bible College President and teacher. He currently pastors in Wellington, Alabama.

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