Friday, November 4, 2016

Evangelism Through Showing

Good fiction writing is all about showing and not telling. Showing readers what is unfolding in the scene through dialog and description keeps them engaged in the story. Simply informing them of the events in a timeline fashion has the feel of a newspaper article. It states the facts with no emotion. Telling runs the risk of losing the reader.

I think sharing Jesus is a lot like that.

I'm not good at evangelizing. I once volunteered as a counselor at a huge outreach concert (keyword: once). We were trained with a "formula" and told to just grab onto kids as they came forward and were herded into a back room. I ended up with four teenage girls in my group who had no idea why they left their seats. They just followed the crowd. The formula didn't work. I scared these poor girls into thinking they could die on the way home from the concert and end up in hell. And I left believing I was a disappointment to God.

It was a case of telling, not showing. But in all fairness, I was told, "This is how you lead someone to Christ," and not shown another way.

Needless to say, I lost my readers. All four of them.

Obviously, my gift is not evangelism.

What I am good at is encouraging. Loving. Validating. 

When I show the love of Christ to someone through a word of encouragement, providing a meal, or just taking the time to listen and not judge, I gain access to their lives and earn the privilege of sharing the gospel in a natural and practical way. 

Everyone has been hurt, and some wounds run deeper than others. And many hold on to that pain. They don't want to be hit over the head with the gospel, or a step-by-step formula to Jesus. Sometimes they don't even want to hear about God.

To me, that's where real evangelism begins. Will we stick around and live the gospel even if we're not invited to discuss it? 

People don't want to be told what they need. They need to be shown what they're missing.

If I can raise the hopes of a friend through an encouraging word, see a glimmer of joy in the eyes of a stranger by an act of kindness, or watch a smile spread across the face of a wounded soul after having validated their pain, then I have succeeded in showing the love of Jesus.

And maybe, just maybe, I've kept them engaged in the story.

Blessings Along the Path,

Ruby's Thanksgiving issue is here! So grab a "cuppa," prop your feet up and enjoy!

sharing with some of these lovelies


  1. Amen! I think Jesus did show us how things are done and evangelism is on top of that.

    1. Lux-I haven't "seen" you in a long time! So glad to see your comment here. Thanks for visting.

  2. I love the comment you made -- "People don't want to be told what they need. They need to be shown what they're missing." I feel the same way...I'm linking up with purposeful faith today and so glad I found your space! Thanks for sharing your heart, it was an encouragement to me! Blessings

  3. Thank you Tammy. It's kind of like the saying, "People don't care how much you know; they want to know how much you care."