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Target Practice

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Target Practice

Warning: there’s a lot of sarcasm in this one…

I do enjoy hearing a story from a friend, who on their flight, had a great conversation with the guy next to them, and led him to the Lord. That’s great!

However, my experiences with evangelism feel more like target practice. On outreach, there’s scheduled “evangelism time,” so everyone heads out to the streets to “get people saved.” After a few hours, we meet back and share our stories from the day. Obviously the best stories involve a great conversation, praying with someone, and maybe someone even achieved the ultimate goal: getting someone saved. Although, from what I’ve seen, that doesn’t seem to happen very often, but hopefully everyone had a positive experience, which will motive us to be more evangelistic, and the “targets” are one step closer to “finding Jesus” (was He lost?).

And then what?

Do you see that guy ever again? Talk to him? Would we be willing to be friends with him? Disciple him? If he showed up at our church would we invite him to sit with us? Or even acknowledge him?

That guy on the airplane, probably wasn’t doing “target practice evangelism.” He probably didn’t wake up thinking, “my goal today is to convince someone to get saved.” There is a good chance that guy was just going about his normal life, while keeping his eyes open for divine appointments, and being willing to be used by the Holy Spirit.

It may work for some people to just decide to go out and “save some souls” today. It probably depends on the personality of the evangelist and the “target” person, but overall, I think people are more likely to want to know Jesus, when they see that His followers are nice, normal, loving people, not aggressive “salesmen” trying to convince or persuade them.

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Like I said, it probably depends on your personality, but I would prefer to just be intentional about who I come in contact with as I live my every-day “normal” life. Be a friendly person, care about people, talk to them, get to know them, and treat them like a normal person (not a guy with a bullseye on his forehead). Maybe even be friends with them! Some people call that “friendship evangelism” which to me, just sounds like a more sneaky style of target practice: “I’m going to become friends with this person in order to get them saved.” No! People are people! Treat them like humans! Not targets! The goal is not to “get people saved” but rather relationship (with them, and with Jesus, and them with Jesus).

Sometimes I wonder if we do the same thing in the pro-life movement. We see pregnant women as targets. The ultimate goal is to “save babies” and convince a woman not to have an abortion. Then we can say, I’ve saved __ (number) of babies!

21 weeks - I think I ate too much...And then what?

Do we even care about the woman as a person? Does she have friends or family or anyone on her side through pregnancy and parenting? Did we at least “get her saved” before sending her off on her way? Even if she’s not “saved” would we still (gasp) be friends with her?

Several years ago I met a lady whose 19 year old daughter had a baby outside of marriage. She made a comment about what an incredible testimony her daughter is. I was confused for a minute. “an incredible testimony of having a baby when she’s not married?” Once I realized the other option: abortion, then the comment made it sense. Unfortunately Christians (myself included) are quick to judge an unwed mother, rather than realize she’s made the difficult choice to sacrifice her reputation in order to give life to a child.

Becky is wife to Duane, mama to "Monkey-girl" and baby "Lioness" aka "PipSqueek." She is the administrative powerhouse for YWAM Bend and keeps our team grounded and organized. Her hope is to inspire and encourage other mamas in their journey to raise healthy, thriving families.
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