My newsfeed, during COVID-19, is flooded with invitations to webinars about how to lead others to Jesus. And if I am being honest, every time I receive one of those invitations I think, Ug. Why would I care about evangelism in a time like this? Isn’t just getting myself out of bed each day enough?
We do evangelism in a time of crisis, not to fill some good-Christian quota, but because it is good for our souls. Evangelism is a part of our own healing and development, especially in a time of crisis.
In John 9, a blind man is miraculously healed by Jesus and then finds himself in a crisis. His friends and leaders don’t believe him and his parents refuse to stand up for him. The thing that brings him through this crisis is the act of sharing his story… over and over again! The more he tells it, the more he knows Jesus, and the more he can confidently face his accusers.
Doing evangelism is a lot like physical therapy. When our muscles are in knots, nothing in us wants to get up and stretch. We fear movement will make the pain worse. But moving is a crucial part of our healing. Though counterintuitive, stretching ourselves to take risks with Jesus when we are suffering is one of the ways we experience Jesus.
In my freshman year of college, I was invited to lead an InterVarsity Bible study in my dorm. The week before my first leaders meeting, my dad passed away suddenly. My whole world fell apart. My staff told me that of course I could opt not to do leadership anymore. I was grateful for the grace. But I felt the invitation of Jesus to lead that Bible study because it would be the avenue for my own healing. As I look back to that season, I remember the grief, but I also remember the joy. The more I took risks with Jesus, the more I knew he was trustworthy with all my pain.
How is Jesus inviting you to risk in evangelism in the midst of this pandemic?
The act of telling others about Jesus, no matter how we are received, builds our faith. But when the people we are ministering to experience transformation for themselves, there is also great joy for us! I will discuss this more in my next post.