Constipated Evangelism (Jan-Feb 2002)

By Matt Dabbs

by David Vick
January-February 2002

I’m a church planter by profession. I’ve experienced the joy of watching those I’ve led to Christ lead others to Christ. I know the exhilaration of visiting a totally unchurched area and telling a pagan crowd about the creator God who loves them. I’ve tasted the joy of worshiping with a vibrant church God had used me to start. I am, however, very much a learner in this business of evangelism.

Growing up “in the church” I had a heritage in evangelism. Before I came on the scene my parents participated in “cottage meetings” – forty years ago that was a modern name for evangelistic Bible studies. While I was in grade school my family and I hauled Jule Miller filmstrips all over town. Dad wasn’t much with words but the record player took care of the talking and mom handled the questions. As I got older we frequently went canvassing, “going door to door” to invite folks to a gospel meeting or to offer a free Bible Correspondence Course. We tried everything we knew: We worked on the J.O.Y. bus, we had a “church of Christ” exhibit at the State fair, we conducted city-wide Campaigns For Christ, I kept “one shot” tracts stuffed in my pockets for those I happened to meet along the way, and during high school I even led a “Soul Talk.” The rewards for these efforts were few, but sweet, and I would do them all over again.

Despite all of our practice, evangelism still didn’t seem natural. It was much easier to go talk to strangers than to visit with our next-door-neighbors or our friends at work. We loved God. We loved the lost. Evangelism just felt stiff. Awkward. Forced. We were suffering from… well, you know the problem. But behold, there is good news! Things are improving. Though I fumble with words and botch up many ready-made evangelistic opportunities, God is graciously teaching me how to share His Son with others. Here are some things that help me… maybe they’ll help you as well.

Recognize the Lies:

1. I should share something I don’t have.
2. I’m responsible for the outcome of an evangelistic encounter.
3. If people get the correct info they will make a correct decision.
4. I should not teach someone I can’t continue to train.
5. I must get people in the water.

The Five Steps or What Must I Do?

1. Share out of the overflow.
2. Surrender the outcome to God.
3. Ask the Spirit to come and assist.
4. Seize divine appointments.
5. Move people closer to Jesus.

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About...

This author published 1598 posts in this site.
Matt is the preaching minister at the Auburn Church of Christ in Auburn, Alabama. He and Missy have been married 12 years and are raising two wonderful boys, Jonah and Elijah. Matt is passionate about reaching and discipling young adults, small groups, and teaching. Matt is currently the editor and co-owner of Wineskins.org.

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