Why do evangelism in a time of crisis? (Part 2)

Evangelism is good for our souls. Taking risks is a major part of our own healing journey with Jesus. What happens when those risks are met with the miraculous transformational power of Jesus? 

In Mark 6:30-44, Jesus invites his disciples to feed thousands of hungry people. They are tired and want Jesus to send the crowds away. But he invites them to share the little they have. As they say yes to Jesus, albeit begrudgingly, they witness a great miracle. Jesus satisfies the empty stomachs of the masses, and the disciples get a front row seat to the power of God.

My cousin, Erica, decided she was an atheist in college and studied world religions to prove that God wasn’t real. Both of us had experiences of chronic physical pain which gave us a special bond. One day Erica experienced a miraculous healing and told me, “Kelly, do you think this could be God?” I took the risk to invite her into an online Bible study (since she lived in another state). 

I said “Let’s study the Bible for four weeks, with an assumption that Jesus could be real, and at the end of the four weeks I am going to ask you to make your own conclusion about Jesus.” By the end of our studies, Erica told me what I never imagined hearing, “I used to think I would regret having anything to do with Jesus. Now I know I would regret it if I didn’t give my life to him.” 

I am now a god-parent to Erica’s first child and I watched her dedicate her son to God. Erica and I have continued to share in our sufferings and she has become my biggest mentor in trusting Jesus with chronic pain. 

When I think about the greatest moments of joy in my life, this one is in my top five. There is nothing more joyous than seeing Jesus transform lives and the next generation. 

How do you need more joy during this pandemic? Have you considered that Jesus’ invitation to do evangelism may be one of the ways he wants to bring you joy? Who is one person you can invite to study the Bible with you this week? Who knows, maybe that person will one day become your biggest mentor.

In my next post, I will talk more about the role of prayer in Erica’s conversion story and in evangelism.

Photo by Alexis Brown on Unsplash

Why do evangelism in a time of crisis?

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.