So a couple of weekends ago, I heard a knock on the door early on Saturday morning. I opened the door to two young women holding bibles and a stack of pamphlets. We exchanged good mornings and asked if I had heard of Jesus...eventually they asked if I'd like one of their pamphlets...which I now noticed were actually small books. They handed me one and explained that it was free. I read the title: "What the Bible is Really about." I smiled a bit and explained that four seminary students live in the house, so we "...have lots of those kinds of books." I thanked them for stopping by, handed the book back to them and wished them well as I closed the door and they moved on to the next door.
While I never know exactly how to handle these door-to-door evangelists, it got me to thinking about how we do evangelism. How are Christians to witness to the faith they claim and adhere to the command of Matthew 28:19-20? There is insufficient space to completely cover the wide topic of evangelism, and i don't claim to have all the answers, but I want to point back to someone that has gone before:
"It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching." -St. Francis of Assisi
So I guess my argument is that explicit, intentional sharing of the Gospel is necessary, but perhaps what is even more necessary is that Christians constantly live as a people transformed by the message that we hope others will come to claim for their own story. I feel that St. Francis was emphasizing the importance of our interactions with others (and creation) should be as much of a sharing of the message and love of Christ as our explicit evangelism.
Click here to read my friend Jason's thoughts on evangelism. I like what he has to say on the subject, and I feel that what he speaks to in problem #1 addresses the often overlooked part of the Great Commission to "[teach] them to obey everything I have commanded you" Matthew 28:20a.
But back to St. Francis... I hope that in this week, you will find a chance to 'preach in your walking.'