I recently had the opportunity to talk to a guy when I was having dinner and listening to a friend sing in a restaurant/bar downtown. There were two women uncomfortably sitting on the same bar stool at the bar, and so I got up and offered them my table with two chairs in exchange for their one seat. I shortly struck up a conversation with the guy sitting next to me at the bar and apologized for running off the two beautiful women and blowing his chances.
It was interesting that what followed was a unique opportunity for me. He started to share with me his life’s dating experiences. Turns out, he unburdened himself about a lot of things about his doubts about what he wanted in life. At age 40 he was fearful of losing out on sex someday, and wanted as much as he could get from the women he dated now. He said he wasn’t looking for marriage, either. He didn’t want kids (and his current squeeze had one) and yet he said he loved kids and doing “Dad” kind of things with them. I felt an overwhelming need come over me to share what I had experienced in my life, my failures, and most of all my belief that God was the answer. And, that I felt that following His plan and rules for living was the most rewarding way to live.
I can’t say that I had an impact on him (he told me he wasn’t religious, although he would want his kids to be if he had any! Hmm…that interested me.) I will probably never know if I had any real impact on this fellow, but what prompts me to write all this is that I have never been one to do “cold call evangelism” on strangers all the time. It’s not my gift, but in this exchange it was the right time and the right place. I had built a relationship with this man by sharing of my life and his, and our mutual ups and downs…and THEN told him about what mattered most to me. That sharing of Christ with him was natural and logical because of that. Like Jesus with the woman at the well, or Jesus healing and preaching, a relationship was built and then the message was delivered. I once had a woman come in to my work and the first thing she did was march up to me and ask was I a Christian? Then she launched into a fire-laden prayer for my soul when I told her I was. It put ME off, and frankly if I had not been a believer I would not have been “evangelized,” I am sure!! It just made me think, “people would think: this woman was weird and crazy, why should I believe what she believes?”
Which brings me to the point of all this. We need to establish a level of relationship with those who we seek to bring to Christ. Don’t hide it. Don’t just spend your religious life in Church, but take it to the world in all your activities. It is not the healthy that need the doctor, but rather the sick, to paraphrase Jesus. Use the opportunities that arise out there in the real world…and remember, they will arise and be accepted when you show love and concern in relationship with your fellow man.