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Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Joseph_Botwinick, May 17, 2006.
What is it?
As Ive heard it described it is the idea that one must have a relationship with the person before they can attempt to witness to them.
As far as that goes, I think its ridiculous to try and say that only one type of evangelism is valid (not that you are saying that, Joseph)....but some others do. We have to look at each individual....some won't respond well until they know you as a person better. Others you can talk to right away and they respond very positively.
How personal of a relationship does it have to be??
I mean---I have folks tell me all the time
"You know, Preacher!! Sometimes its easier to witness to a total stranger than it is to those closest to you!"
Then they want you to come over and witness to their husband---wife---girl--boy---Auntie--whoever---as if there's absolutely no relationship there between them at all!!
is one explanation.
There are others via GOOGLE.
Relational Evangelism is actually an alternative to supper time evangelism.
Supper time evangelism is showing up at a strangers door just about supper time. Momma just got home after getting off work, picking up the kids from daycare, she has two screaming kids in the back room, a toddler on her hip, a boiling pot on the stove, daddy isnt home yet and now you expect her to listen to you.
Truth is while that type of evangelism had its effect in the past, with our two parent s working in most every home it has become offensive.
There should never be only one set way to witness in anyones mind. We should always be ready to give an answer of the reason of the hope that is within us with meakness and fear.
We can begin to build relationships in our communities by volunteering to mow someones lawn who needs it, repair a roof, replace an old washer of an elder couple, pick up trash on the side of the road, go to public community meetings on a regular basis, be involved in the community. This establishes relatonships, authority, and opportunities.
the alternative is to stay within the confinds of our homes and church walls only coming out to "knock on doors". At this point you are just a salesman not a minister of God.
Here is an illustration I used in a sermon recently... While I think door to door is still effective in some areas, I realize there are other ways....
A secretary on the job is engulfed in problems. Her husband left her; a son is in rebellion; she can barely make ends meet. She cries out for help. We don't hear.
A fellow employee is overwhelmed by the complexity of overcoming his chronic drinking problem. He longs for a friend. We're deaf to his cries.
The owner of the gas station where we've traded for years has just lost his wife. His eyes echo his loneliness. We don't see.
A wife would love to share with us the trauma and trivia of her day-just to have a listening ear. Our ears are closed.
And as the "perfect" ending to such a self-centered day, we hurry to the church building to go out on visitation, knocking on doors, while ignoring the needs of the ones around us.
Does this make sense? It seems to me it is time we acknowledged the fact that a good translation of the Great Commission has it reading: "As you are going into all the world...."
You see, we are in such a hurry to "go!" that we miss the very ones whom God brings into our path-"as we are going." May God awaken us to the realization that true evangelism is loving the world the way God loves it; allowing our hearts to be broken by the things that break God's heart; acknowledging that there is no dichotomy between "evangelism" and "benevolence"-that true evangelism begins with Mat_10:42 : "And if anyone gives a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you, he will certainly not lose his reward."
It's wittnesing to yer kin folk!
Or Joseph...in Arkansas...its just wittnesing to everybody...cause they are yer kinfolks!
(OK...I will stp now)
Is this different from other methods of evangelism?
Maybe this is completely wrong, it wouldnt be the first time. Going door to door and handing out tracts on a corner has always seemed not the thing to do. The miracle of being used by God is for the Holy Spirit in you during your everyday activities telling you that this or that person needs a friend or needs the Gospel told. At the same time, the Spirit is working on the person's heart. The miracle is also in the timing.
I just went out Tuesday morning and stood on a corner and passed out tracts.... I didn't see anyone saved, but several other ladies out with me did, and it was a miracle then too. God had to bring just the right people by, and give the witnesser the right words to use in talking to this complete stranger so that they'd listen. God had to be working in this person's heart before they came out that morning, too.
Then we ALSO have the miracles of the Holy Spirit working in our hearts to tell us that the person next to us at work or on the bus needs to be spoken to as well. Our time on the corner is just another opportunity to be available to witness to people.
I don't believe that an opportunity to win souls to Christ is ever "not the thing to do". IMO, the Great Commission includes the idea that each of us ought to have a time when we go out on purpose in order to try to tell someone the gospel.
I would agree with you up to a point.. I don't think we need to wait until our set "time" to tell someone the gospel... The meaning of the word "go" in the great commission is "as you are going." So all the time is the right time.
I don't think you meant that we should wait, but I wanted to clear that up in case someone would misconstrue it.