As Christians, we often see so many lost people around us that we don’t know where to start. Even though many seeds are planted, they don’t all produce a crop. Some seeds are taken up by the birds, some have no root and some are crushed by thorns. Where are the most effective places to cultivate the seeds of the harvest? They’re in broken people, often in close proximity to us.
Many Christians are intimidated by the thought of evangelism. However, we can start by focusing on making an impact on the lives of people we already know and love. It’s important to eliminate any fears of having to do something embarrassing or unnatural.
Helping people identify their networks of relationships, specifically family members, co-workers, neighbors, and friends, will help them focus on praying for specific opportunities to have spiritual conversations.
We want to make disciples for Christ, not decisions for Christ. Making a decision for Christ is not the issue, having a lifelong devotion to God as a disciple is. That is done in the context of relationships. Jesus looked for disciples with which to partner. He did not begin by ministering to the crowd, but by developing his disciples and forming a core community. We can do the same by forming relationships with those around us.
Note: This blog entry is part of a series based on Beyond Church Planting (coauthored with Neil Cole) that explores the process of evangelism and coming to faith.