Most of us Christians have realized that the culture we are living in is different than what it used to be. The spiritual climate has changed. Those that are open to spiritual things are open to any and all things that seem to connect with the other world. Those that are closed are closed. Minds won’t be changed – at least not quickly or easily.
We want to reach out, but many of us aren’t seeing the fruit we would hope to see. It might be time for some upside down evangelism. Upside down evangelism is learning to reach out to people in the opposite way we normally do. Our preferred method of evangelism is this:
1. We start by sharing the message of Jesus. When they accept it by faith we include them in the club. Then ministry kicks in.
2. We love them, we pray for them. We ask God to change their lives so they can experience his healing power.
3. When people are sufficiently shaped up, we spend time with them. We fellowship have them to our house and we go to theirs. We build deep relationships.
4. And we leave them each time, praying for God’s peace on them and their households! After all, we want God’s best for them.
In most instances, this is working. Many of us have seen that we need a new way. Let’s try flipping this upside down. I think it might have a more transformational impact.
1. Begin by bringing a blessing of peace to people. If they are open to that peace, if they are receptive to connecting to a man/woman of peace, then we take the next step. If we speak, we need to speak God’s best hope.
2. Remain with them. Eat, drink, spend time in their homes and let them spend time in yours. In other words, enter their world. Let them be part of your life.
3. Give them God’s healing grace. Support, encourage and pray for God to meet their needs!
4. Share the message of Jesus and His kingdom. When they’ve seen God at work, through Christ, explain what has happened, who did it and how they can enjoy it forever.
But, this is not a new approach. It’s what Jesus told His disciples to do. Luke 10:5-9 reads, “Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ And if a son of peace is there, our peace will rest upon him… And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide… Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.”
Let’s begin dreaming about what God might do, if we flip this thing upside down!
Have you had experience with this kind of evangelism on your own, or through your church?