Why I Don't Evangelize
- 2011 5 Oct
There have been periods of my Christian life where I have, by God's grace, enjoyed fervent zeal towards evangelism. However, there are other spells of indifference and flat out negligence. To be honest, I really hate the way this fluxes.
I have tried different things to rev myself up and stimulate faithfulness, but at the end of the day it comes down to two things:
1) my view of God, and 2) my view of others
In this vein I was struck by Alex Montoya's words in his helpful book, Preaching with Passion, Montoya is a professor at The Master's Seminary in Sun Valley, CA. ">One thing that has been particularly helpful relative to loving others with the gospel is to look into people's eyes. No I did not just go off the deep end. We live in a society where we fly by one another without even noticing each other, and when we look for more than the accepted 2.8 seconds, suddenly we are psychotic. What I am advocating is to look at people. Watch them, pray for them, look into their eyes as they speak to you. Hear their heart cry for relief. When you are filled with divine love for the glory of God and fueled for a love for your neighbor, a good healthy look into a person's eyes will convict you to the quick to evangelize and cease from meaningless dialogue about such futile things as the weather, the news or other distractions.
Montoya writing in the context of losing compassion for people:
"That is when I retreat to a small taco stand in the barrio of East Los Angeles, to a place where real people live. I order a cup of coffee and sit with my back against the wall. Then I watch, I observe, I read, and I listen intently for the heart cry.
A group of gang-bangers come in for a snack—one in four will die before the age of eighteen; two of the others will end up in prison. All are doomed to a hard life. A young mother comes in with her brood of youngsters. It is obvious they are poor. They share drinks. They live in poverty; some will never see a forest or snow. An old drunk staggers in, begging for a meal. He is quickly thrown out. That was somebody's baby boy. A mother at one time cradled that man and nursed him….I look, I listen until I hear their cries, until their souls cry out to me, "Please help, I'm perishing!" until the tears pour forth from my melted heart! I am in love with humanity once again."
Perhaps you can relate to my tension. If you struggle like I do, I'd encourage you to pray to God that you might love him more, more along the lines with which he loves himself. And likewise that he would be kind to cause you to love others more, more along the lines with which he loves others. Pray that God would let you hear folks' hearts cry and that would open your mouth to speak the words of eternal life, joy and grace. We do know why we do not evangelize and this fact should bring us back to the reason why we must.