Evangelism: Proclamation and Friendship

There are two primary ways evangelism takes place: proclamation and friendship. Biblical discipleship which was practiced by Jesus and Paul according to the Gospels and Acts involve both.

Proclamation is the public heralding or annoucing. Today, this may be done not only in gatherings, but also on university campuses and on the internet. These are largely a monologue with an invitation to dialogue with an interest in finding the truth. Here is the Truth: Jesus. Do you want Him? Are you interested.

Friendship Evangelism takes place when people intentially enter into friendships with the goal of sharing the life of Jesus in word and deed. Now, if a there is a friendship, but no evangelism or spiritual dialogue takes place, there is really no evangelism, just friendship with the world. It is when that cup of coffee or tea time is mixed with faith in the Truth of Christ, then you have friendship evangelism.

Often, in the ministries of Jesus and Paul and their associates, Proclamation in the public gathering place was to be followed by a frienship or friendships that led to Jesus and a life with Him. I.e. what we would call Friendship Evangelism.

These are two peas in a pod. They belong together. Knocking on doors is not opposed to making friends with your neighbors. Rather one is a way of scanning wide, the other is a way of going deep. Common sense says to fish you must be on the lake. It takes a work of Jesus to fill your nets at just the right time and place.

Persistence is the key.

I learned this from a friend who made no profession of faith in Christ. He asked me: Do you know the key to fishing?

I guessed a wide variety of things: weather, timing, chance, bait, nets … No, no, no, no, no.

Then the friend who was with me guessed: Patience.

Exactly.

Do you want to know Jesus? Do you want others to know Jesus? It will take patience. Or, in it’s more english root: Long-suffering. Lots of difficulties will come up, but Jesus will overcome. Look to Him and He will eventually answer all your questions and bring in all the questing.

So: as I learned in sales: spread out wide and send your roots deep. It is the same in Christian Missions and the same with the Love of God: Deep & Wide, there’s a fountain flowing deep & wide.

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