Natural Evangelism

March 4, 2009

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My old friend, and one-time-mentor, Doug Pollock is releasing a new book, expected to be on the bookstore shelves in June.

Doug has travelled the world sharing his faith, and has studied evangelism for the better part of two decades now. He’s also penned a number of articles and co-authored other helpful books about evangelism. But as I read the first chapter of the pre-published manuscript I find myself eagerly awaiting this latest work.

As an old friend it has been interesting, and encouraging, to see how Doug’s understanding and perspective have changed and grown through the years.  Doug’s outward focus has always been keen, but I have appreciated how his upward focus has continually grown.  Doug’s love for our Lord is glaringly obvious.  And because of his love for God, Doug’s love for people is equally obvious.  And that is the key.

It has been said that there are two motives for evangelism: One is “I’m right, you’re wrong.”  The second is “I love you.”  Doug’s latest work exudes the latter motive.  And he does so because it is also Jesus’ motive.

The following is an excerpt of the first chapter of Doug’s upcoming book: God Space: Where Spiritual Conversations Happen Naturally.  This excerpt appeared in his most recent newsletter, which I received this afternoon.  His 10 Questions are worth pondering.  And you can score yourself at the end.

***

Jesus was called many things during his short time here on earth.  My favorite title for him is found in Matthew 11.19 and Luke 7.34 where Jesus acknowledges his awareness of the fact that many were calling him “a friend of sinners”.  In my mind, no title gets at the heart of why Jesus came to earth more than this one.  It so closely coincides with his mission stated in Luke 19.10: “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”

If we are going to make God’s “invisible” kingdom become visible, then Christ’s heart needs to be formed in us.  Prayerfully ponder the following questions. Grade yourself by using the following scale for each question. Jot down a number at the end of each question. When you have finished, add your numbers together to assess where you are in your spiritual journey.

1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     10

 Never              Sometimes              Always

1. Can you overlook ungodly attitudes and lifestyles in your efforts to connect with others?

2. Are you able to suspend your judgment for long periods of time around not-yet Christians?

3. Do you consistently seek to understand the not-yet Christians you know before seeking to be understood by them?

4. Are you patient enough to wait for the not-yet Christians in your life to ask for your opinions?

5. Be honest: Do you like people who are far from God?

6. Do people who are far from God like you?  For example: Are you invited to ‘party parties’?  (Jesus was!)

7. Does your body language communicate an open-hearted acceptance toward the not-yet Christians in your life?

8. Are you able to communicate acceptance to not-yet Christians without endorsing their lifestyle?

9. In your relationships with not-yet Christians, do you typcially offer kindness rather than ‘rightness’?

10. Is your heart consistently broken and filled with compassion for the not-yet Christians in your life?

90-100 – Congratulations! You might be frequently misunderstood by Christians, but the not-yet Christians in your life are undoubtedly drawn toward the heart of Jesus formed in you. Keep walking in this light.

50-90 – You must decrease and Jesus must increase, one heart attitude at a time. Embrace the people and the situations in your life as God attempts to prune those heart attitudes that are not bearng fruit for the Kingdom.

Under 50 – Perhaps Jesus needs to do something in you before He can do something through you.  You may want to consider asking God to do the soul surgery needed to form the heart of Jesus in you.

To read the entire first chapter click: God Space, then click the picture.

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