Listen to the Missing
This fall, I’m inviting you to be a part of Love Tallahassee (#LoveTLH), a six-week emphasis to neighbor our community for Christ. Last week, I shared just one launching pad of our work: the Sabal Palm Elementary School community. Another focus of our efforts throughout #LoveTLH will be servant evangelism, learning to tell the good news behind the good deeds.
Most of us can remember an evangelism failure on the giving or receiving end. We may have been rejected on the front porch of an unsuspecting church prospect. Even more uncomfortably, a person from a different religion has dropped by the house two by two to try to talk us out of Christianity.
But what if evangelism is just learning to be yourself? Jim Henderson wrote a fascinating book several years ago entitled Evangelism Without Additives. In his research, he found that most Christians have a story to tell. They just need to quit counting conversions. That’s God’s business anyway. Our responsibility is to become articulate enough to talk about the hope we have. We need to become comfortable enough in our own skin and perceptive enough to use the opportunities we are given. Henderson suggests that the best measurement is not conversions but conversations.
So where do those conversations happen? For churches, the best time to have those discussions is not on Monday nights going door to door but while serving in the community doing work in Jesus’ name. When we share a common goal of loving our neighbors, we find open doors to talk about the service we perform. We share our story with the recipients as well as the participants. Secular people who never attend a worship service or class often serve with us on projects. As we serve beside them, we have an opportunity to talk about the hope we have.
Mark your calendars for Wednesday evenings August 28-October 10. Each week, prayer meeting, Young Adult Bible Study, College Bible studies, and Youth Bible study will be teaching around the common theme of servant evangelism. I’ll be sharing from the Gospel of John a series entitled “Listen to the Missing: Opening Doors through the Questions you Ask.” Josh Hall, Zach Allen, and Todd Smith will be teaching their respective areas around the same topic.
On Sunday evenings September 22-October 6, we will give you the opportunity to practice. We’ll host a Servant Evangelism workshop in the Quad to demonstrate just how easy it is to go from serving to sharing. You’ll be able to practice on people just like yourself in the safety and comfort of people who are learning the ropes. It’s just another way this fall that you can #LoveTLH.