In our last post we talked about the importance of authenticity and “incarnation” in our approach to evangelism. Back to our illustration . . . In fly fishing, having the right-sized fly is an important part of “matching the hatch” as described in the last post. If trout are feeding on a “size 22 midge pattern,” they will be less likely to want something that is size 14.
As we meet people who are on their way to the Kingdom, it is important for us to meet them where they are and bring a right-sized conversation about the gospel. Generic, canned approaches, may be easy to pull out of our hip pocket whenever we need it, but it is so much more effective to bring the Good News of Jesus and His Kingdom to people in a way that connects with their needs and current situation in life.
Check out these different approaches Jesus used:
- He invited some to just “come and see” (John 1:39).
- He got in the face of the rich young ruler (Matthew 16:22).
- He invited himself to a party with Zacchaeus (Luke 19:5-10).
- He healed lepers and the demon possessed (Mark 1 and Mark 5).
In the normal path ways of life, we mingle with people with all kinds of needs and situations. The multi-faceted and generous grace of Jesus and His reign provide all kinds of ways we can bring gospel help to our friends, families, and acquaintances right where we live, work, and play.
A person in need of a job may want us to help them network with others. A person home sick after surgery may need a meal. A young person who got dumped by their boyfriend or girlfriend, may need a listening ear. Someone going through cancer treatment or a troubled marriage might benefit from our presence, a hug, and prayer.
“Right-sized” conversations and actions are a powerful onramp to eventually telling people about Jesus. When we love, serve, and walk with people in hard times, we are embodying the good news of the Kingdom of God. It makes the gospel three-dimensional, and opens the door to speak of redemption, reconciliation, and forgiveness.
Think of a not-yet-believing friend. Do you know of a need in their life that a right-sized conversation or action could help show Christ’s love?