Consider this: People are ready to receive Christ, and are just waiting for someone to explain how, right now!
Does that statement surprise you? We are seeing the reality of that on the streets here in England. More about that in a second.
Jesus talked about this in the gospel of John, chapter 6. It’s a favorite passage of mine because we see Jesus miraculously feed 5,000 people, walk on water, and present the gospel magnificently. Verse 40 says, “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
And then... Jesus gets deserted.
Jesus does all those signs and wonders, reveals his connection with the Father, presents the gospel, and then gets rejected? Having read that, some might think, “What hope do I have of sharing the gospel if that happened to Jesus?”
But John reveals a critical thing about sharing the gospel. He says it twice, once in verse 44 and again in verse 65: "No one can come to Jesus unless the Father draws them."
Effective evangelism is not always about doing the miraculous; it’s not always about presenting a persuasive and crystal-clear message of the gospel. The key to evangelism is this: The Father is already out there working. He’s got people lined up already to receive Christ, and all you need to do is find them!
This means we don’t necessarily look for those we want to see come to the Lord (although that’s not a bad thing to do). Instead, look for those that the Father is drawing to the Lord. And since that could be anybody around you, cast your nets wide!
What does this look like?
We recently had a team here in the UK, working with a local church, that would just go out on the streets and walk up to people, offering to pray for them. They said something like “We’re from the local church, and we’re out in our community today offering prayer for people; how can we pray for you?”
For those who received prayer, they’d offer to share the story of the gospel. Not everyone said yes, but many did, and the statistics reveal something really interesting:
Out of the approximately 430 people that said yes to prayer, about 5% became Christians right there on the spot. That’s almost 20 people right there coming into the Kingdom from a random walk-up offer: Can I pray for you!
But there’s more. Another 15% or so asked to meet up and learn more about Jesus. They weren’t ready to pray to receive Christ, but they wanted to learn more about following him.
That’s almost 60 people!
The Father is working. He is drawing people to Christ, and this recent case study shows that even very simple ways of sharing can lead to lots of people coming to know Jesus. So let’s keep taking the risk to share, knowing that God is already preparing people to respond and that we don’t have to share perfectly to have an impact.
Have you ever tried to explain the gospel to someone? Try practicing with a friend who already knows Jesus. The more comfortable you get speaking the good news, the more willing you will be to share it with someone who doesn’t understand.
Offer to pray for someone. Ask God to give you an opportunity to pray for someone who doesn’t know him this week.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Colin Crawley and his wife C’havala live in London, England. They work with CRM-UK to mobilize the Church and catalyze movements of the gospel.