This week two men came to our company to try to promote some kind of supplemental insurance. They set up a temporary office in the cafeteria, posted signs around the building, and waited for us to come meet with them.
We didn’t. We avoided them like the plague.
When I walked by them (I had to in order to get my tuna casserole out of the fridge), I introduced myself because I felt sorry for them. But I declined their offer to sit down and learn more. The little I knew was enough to keep me away (they were selling something I didn’t want or have the money to buy).
I wonder if that’s how it is with us and non-Christians. We have something of worth that we want desperately to “sell,” but we don’t want to appear pushy. So we “set up office” and make our identity and purpose clear. Maybe we do this by the clothes we wear, the Bible we carry, the Christian bumper stickers we plaster our cars with, or even the things we avoid (maybe we don’t swear, drink, go to clubs, or watch racy movies).
Then we sit and wait. And wait. And wait some more for unbelievers to be drawn to us and to show interest in our message. But for the most part, no one does.
How do you think Jesus would have done evangelism? (Oh, wait—we have a record of that!) Jesus always engaged people right where they were. He attended weddings, dinner parties, and feasts. He took walks and boat rides with people and played with children. He spent time teaching in the religious centers. Sometimes He met people's physical needs. Sometimes He met their spiritual needs. Sometimes he met both.
When we compare ourselves with Him, how are we doing? How many non-Christians do we have friendships with? Have we invited any into our homes recently? Are we showing genuine interest in those we meet every day? Do we know why they might be turned off to Christianity? Have we even thought to ask them (and not give an immediate defense, but listen and dialogue with them)?
Oh, Jesus, make us lovers instead of salespeople. Help us stop trying to “sell” You and the Good News to those around us. Teach us to engage them with the Truth, but not to abuse them with it. May we be “salty” people who cause non-Christians to re-examine their view of Jesus and the Gospel.