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Evangelism has become a dirty word. So dirty that some Christians dare not speak of the “e-word.”
Too often when we think of evangelism, we concur up images of standing on the street corner handing out tracts, street preaching, yelling at passer-bys, or aggressively converting people to our way of being Christian. Personal space and experiences are not typically respected. Unfortunately, these kinds of things do not always represent the saving love of Jesus Christ.
Yet, at the same time, mainline churches have been in a state of decline. We look out at the empty pews and wonder, “How will we fill these pews?” We know we should invite people to church. We know we should be engaging our community. We know we should be doing more. But what? How?
The following video presents a few ways not to.
A few weeks ago my grandparents went to a local Wal-Mart to pick up a few things. As they entered the store, my grandfather told my grandmother to go and get what she needed, he was going to walk through the store and meet her in the middle.
As my grandfather came down the center aisle of Wal-Mart, he saw a boy who was afflicted. His father was sitting on a bench with his head in his hands. As my grandfather walked pass the boy, the boy asked my grandfather to sit on the bench with him.
So my grandfather did. And he proceeded to have a conversation with this young man. Everytime the boy spoke, his father elbowed him, as if to say, “Be quiet!”. Despite that, my grandfather kept talking with this boy. Eventually, the boy begin rubbing my grandfather’s head as they talked and patting his hand.
After some time, my grandfather stood to go and explained that he needed to go find his wife, but that he would be back before he left. After he found my grandmother, he took her to meet the boy he met on the Wal-Mart bench. The boy saw my grandfather coming and became very excited. He had a grin that filled his face! The father, who earlier didn’t want his son speaking, approached my grandfather and expressed his thanks for my grandfather taking the time to sit on a bench in Wal-Mart with his son.
It turns out that this boy was around the age of 30 and had a mental disability. While many others had passed over this young man, my grandfather stopped and took a few moments to wit with this young man on a Wal-Mart bench.