Evangelism for the rest of us

travel-airplaneby J. Randal Matheny, editor

Today I share a hodgepodge of thoughts, since I’m headed to the airport shortly, on the way to meet our third little grandbaby, who arrived in the world just over a month ago. This is a wonderful phase of life, grandparenting, even when done from a distance.

• If you’re in the central Arkansas area on March 10, come share a moment with us to think about personal evangelism. I’ll be at the Somers Avenue congregation in North Little Rock, Ark., on that Sunday. After the morning sermon and lunch, we’ll have an early afternoon session as well. I’m calling it “Evangelism for the Rest of Us.”

• To track our movements, here’s an itinerary online, with a few links to compass points where we’ll hover for a bit, at lectureships and such. We always enjoy meeting our readers and friends and hearing your stories.

• Leaving a house all closed up for nearly a month presents quite a chore ahead of time, especially when you don’t have family or anyone to watch it for you. Food has to be cleaned out of the fridge. Perishables have to be removed from the cupboard. Bills have to be paid ahead of time. With the seasonal heavy rains, things can spoil, mold, mildew, and get rancid quickly, even items that you’d never think would go to waste.

• We know well what Jesus meant about “where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal” (Matthew 6.19-21). We’ve had thieves to break in and steal and we’ve had moths and rust and other devourers of goods. Treasures in this life are soon gone.

• So what is evangelism for the rest of us? Most of us are used to gospel meetings, special campaigns, door-knocking (which we shouldn’t knock or disparage), but we’re not so adept, it seems, at the day-to-day type of evangelism. We’ve seldom if ever seen it done! The special moments are good, but they’re don’t do the job completely.

• Evangelists are wonderful, and we pray God will send more of them for the task, but the job of teaching the gospel to the lost isn’t just for evangelists. It’s for all of us. Everybody has a part. Each saint plays a role. The so-called rank-and-file aren’t rank and they aren’t defiled, but sorely needed for the work of gospeling.

• There are so many tools available today. Something will fit your style. One of them is just right for your budget or time constraints. Later, we hope to share a list of evangelism resources. We put one online some time back, a modest, but powerful little study. We have no excuse for not doing the Lord’s will in this matter.

• Evangelism by proxy (such as a paid preacher) doesn’t wash with the Lord. We have our own opportunities, our own contacts, our own blessings and talents to bring to bear on the task. If we don’t use them, they will be lost, as will those people whom the Lord has entrusted to us.

• These are some of the truths I pray my new little grandbaby will learn.

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