A few months ago, I was in the middle of the town square in a North German town. The weather was cold outside and most people were hurrying to get into shops and restaurants.
Most people… except for a group from a local church. They braced themselves in the cold, clutching their Bibles and stared down those who walked past. A man with a microphone who could have been the pastor of the church, kept imploring people to stop and talk about God.
No one paid any attention to them.
It made me wonder if sometimes, blinded by our passion to help others, we forget the basics of persuading people. Watching people pass by this outreach group from a local church in Germany reminded me of three simple questions church leaders should constantly ask their teams:
Is The Location Appropriate For Evangelism?
It’s freezing outside. The last thing on anyone’s mind would be to stand outside and listen to the nice people who were sacrificing their own comfort for the sake of the gospel.
The intention was good. The execution was poor.
Are you mindful of the comfort levels of people when you share the gospel? Location is key. Where you carry out your outreach programs is just as important as how you do it.
Is Your Message One Of Judgment Or Love?
The condescending stares of superiority were enough to quicken the pace of relaxed shoppers. The excerpts of the message I heard while walking by were mostly about the mistakes of this world and how this particular group would show the way to Jesus and finally to eternal salvation.
Not many shoppers that day were willing to be told that their own way of life was wrong and they needed saving.
Are You Inspiring Enough For Them To Stop And Talk?
The plain black clothes and severe expressions on the faces of this outreach group inspired nothing but sympathy. There was no sense of exuberance, vibrancy and joy in their demeanor. Not much to catch the attention and inspire curiosity.
Simple questions and yet, often overlooked by outreach ministries at churches.