AS anyone who follows me on Facebook and Twitter will know, our household loved the election. Despite voting at opposite ends of the political spectrum, my husband and I care deeply about our country, who runs it and the policies and politics that shape it. The result, therefore, while disappointing for one of us, was accepted because we felt the country had spoken. I had no right to complain really because aside from reading a few manifestos and then actually voting I certainly wasn’t out campaigning on the run up.
So the crowds of people who started campaigning the day AFTER the election puzzled me somewhat. Don’t get me wrong, I could see why they were doing it. They wanted their voices to be heard and they wanted the nation to be aware of what its votes would usher in. All that said though, nothing could change. The electoral and parliamentary system cannot be overturned simply by a protest. To make changes politically you have to work hard before the election, not after.
It made me think about our approach to evangelism.
One of the reasons people have been so shocked by the election result is that there was a big left wing presence on social networking. If that had been the decider Labour would have won hands down. I realised afterwards that I must be surrounding myself with a lot of people who think the same way as me because it seemed that everyone in my world was optimistic before and shocked after.
Isn’t that just like us when we surround ourselves with Christians? As great as that is and as wonderful as it can be to have a brilliant support network it also skews your perception of reality. Just like with the voting results, if you surround yourself with only like minded people you wont actually hear the voices of anyone else. And when it comes to evangelism – us sharing our faith and the good news of Jesus with a world in need of a saviour – we need to be able to listen and discern what the world around us really wants and needs so we can show Jesus in a way that demonstrates Him to be the answer.
Often times we can leave our evangelism to one side, or forget about it altogether. There may be various reasons for this; “it’s not my gifting,” or “I didn’t want to rock the boat.” How about, “I know them and trust me, they won’t want me talking to them about that.” Whatever the reason for not being active in your evangelism, just like the ‘day after’ protesters, if you don’t do something now, it will be too late after. I’m not even referring to death when I say that. I’m talking about the opportunity to be proactive now in telling our friends and family that we genuinely believe their lives here and now could be better by including Jesus in it, not waiting until they are in trouble before telling them. It’s great when we hear of people meeting Jesus from their prison cell. But would it not have been even better if they’d met Jesus before? It’s awesome when people find Jesus after a tragedy, but would it not have been even more incredible to have Him to lean on all the way through? Like food, evangelism is definitely Best Before!
Friends, for those of us who know Jesus, we have a mandate spoken from his mouth to go out and make disciples. We are told in scripture ‘to do the work of an evangelist’ and we are equipped by the Holy Spirit with power from on high. There’s no need to be afraid, there’s no need to wait. All that’s required is for you to genuinely care enough about the people in your world, so in the day to day when you share your lives together you can take an opportunity to demonstrate how Jesus loves you, how he has changed you and how he could do the same for them. Daily nudges now mean no need for a protest after.
Maybe we could teach the campaigners a thing or two.