Recently, I had an experience that has stuck with me. I’ve done it many times before and I’m noticing a pattern, a common response. What I’m talking about is street evangelism, going to a certain area (i.e. A downtown) and just talking to people. I’m sure that many of you have had very interesting, unsettling experiences with people who do this but it doesn’t have to be that way. The street evangelism that I’m talking about is different from the way a Jehovah’s Witness or a Morman would do it. What I’m talking about is just purely going and talking to people, casual conversation, not carrying a tract or an agenda, but just going out and showing people the love of Christ.
The first thing that I learned is that people desire relationship. We have so many things in our world pulling for our attention, making us think they care when in reality they have their own selfish agenda. When you go and have a conversation with someone on the street or at a public event and you don’t have an agenda, they sense that and appreciate it. Our God is relational and we need to show that for others. We’re not here to push an agenda, we’re here to show them that the creator of the universe loves them and that they matter.
Don’t get me wrong, this can get scary, especially when we ourselves struggle to create relationships. We have to push through and remember that they desire relationship just as much or more than we do. People can make the statement that God can use someone else to carry that out but the thing is, He chose you!
The second thing that I learned is that people have a deep desperation for hope. They want to know that there is a purpose for them being alive, and regardless of their situation, they can overcome. Without Jesus, all hope is only temporary and will at some point fade away. What we want to do is bring hope and healing to a broken world. Through the casual conversations, I was able to bring a hope to people by sharing my story and how Jesus transformed my life.
The third thing that I learned is that people desire to be loved. We were designed to be in relationship with God and to feel His love. If someone doesn’t know Jesus how are they supposed to know how to receive that love? By simply taking time out of your day to talk to someone, shows them that you care and they see the love behind what you’re doing.
People have searched far and wide for love and haven’t found the true love that comes from the Father. We have that inside of us because of the Holy Spirit in us and we weren’t given this love to hold it in but instead give it to others.
Through all of the times I’ve been intentional about talking to people, I’ve seen that they are desperate for the love of Jesus. People were created to be in relationship with God and you can see that in people. When they don’t have that relationship you can see how they are in desperate need of it. Through Jesus, we find relationship, hope, and love that fulfills us.
Go out and share your story, when you share your story it shows what God can do in someone’s life. Even if you feel like you don’t have a compelling life story, your story matters and is important. Your story is so important that you need to share it with others! When someone sees what God can do in your life they will believe that God can do it for them.
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 1 Peter 3:15