On Sunday, February 19, Bethanie Mintz shared a story about her dislike of evangelism and her growing love for simply sharing God’s love out of her everyday life. Her story is relatable, because who doesn’t find evangelism challenging (except evangelists!)? And it is encouraging, because it reveals how simple steps of faithful obedience often lead to unexpected experiences of grace. Read Bethanie’s testimony below or find the link at bottom to watch her video. –Kenneth Maresco
Evangelism is SUPER important to Brian and I… but I grew up with a lot of baggage around the word evangelism. I felt like it was one more thing I had to do… not just to be a good Christian, but it was a requirement and I needed to talk about Jesus to EVERYONE I met. It was a huge burden that made me feel so guilty because I just couldn’t do that. It turned me off. I didn’t even what to try.
That has changed…. Or rather my definition of evangelism and how I see it has changed. I used to envision a street evangelist walking up to everyone he sees asking “Do you know Jesus, you should!” For some, that may be their passion, not me. I am passionate about the One who has changed my life like no one else can. He has changed my life so much that I have new vocabulary. When I talk about what a beautiful day it is, I can’t say it with out giving God glory! When I talk about my struggles, I can’t do it with out sharing how I’ve seen God at work through my struggles. We can do this with Christians and non-Christians alike.
Just last week at the birth center (where I work) I was talking with a mom. I can’t remember what we were talking about, but as we were talking the conversation led me to mention something about our church. Before the words came out of my mouth I debated, not knowing where she stood regarding religion, if I wanted to mention church or just say when I was at a meeting or a gathering of friends. But then I had this impression that if I glossed over the truth that I would be just like Peter, denying my Savior. So, I mentioned church. It wasn’t a full description about church or what I believe, just a quick mention. At the end of the conversation she came back around to that comment and asked where we went and if she and her husband decided to visit if she could sit with us!!! That is God… with visible growth of poppy seeds that were sown.
Now, not always am I denying Christ if I don’t mention church… I don’t want to imply that. There are times that we need to be sensitive to the other person. One of my friends specifically told me, at the start of our friendship, “I know you are a Christian and I don’t want to hear anything about it.” To honor her, I tempered my speech a bit, but I know she still hears Jesus in my words. I don’t want to be offensive for Christ. I’m loving her by respecting her request, although, also knowing there is much said without words!
I Peter 3:15 is one of my favorite Bible verses. It says, “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.”
So, my dear friends. I LOVE Jesus and He loves ALL people and wants them in His kingdom. Make friends. Not with an agenda, but just to love people as God has greatly loved us. People will want to know about that Love as we develop relationships. Also by just using our normal everyday speech we will be sharing the Gospel whether it’s sharing how we parented earlier in the day, a blessing we received, or asking for advice or admitting failure in a certain area. God is preached in our strengths and weakness…. Be real with people. It’s not normal and it shows we have acceptance where it matters. They are looking for that too!