Don’t let the idea of evangelizing overwhelm you. Don’t allow it to become some dark cloud of obligation. Just remember to be yourself, and to realize that one day the hope of the Gospel will dwell within you and be a natural part of your existence, like breathing or seeing. Spending time reading and meditating on the Bible allows the Word to saturate every cell in your body. It transforms you and gives you new purpose in life. This renewal is a process that continues for a life-time, and at some point we all will have confidence like the Apostle Paul. Just realize it is inevitable and it will happen to you.
Knowing this should allow you to just relax and enjoy this amazing life God has given you. When a prompting comes to make a contact with someone there will be no pretense, just an authentic desire to say something to someone else that you don’t know. It maybe something they are wearing that you really like, or you may be thinking about last nights game. Point is, just be yourself, and when the prompting comes for you to say something to someone else, say it.
Through our society God gives us many conversation openers. There are T.V. shows, sports, attire, celebrity news, world news, U.S. news, movies, music… Then there is the old tried-and-true topic – weather. All these things are tools to start conversations. It may lead into a conversation, or it may just be a friendly exchange. No worries. Right now you are just focusing on overcoming the barrier that prohibits you from interacting with one of God’s favorite creations.
More Mental Exercises
As stated in Lesson 1, the one thing that helps ease the tension of making a contact is understanding who you are in relation to the complete stranger you are prompted to approach. Remembering we are first generation souls created by Jesus can change our aspect on other people. Personally, I feel very connected with most people, and feel I belong most paces I go, because where ever I am and whomever I meet I know we all come from the same place.
Physical Exercise (with some mental thrown in there too)
For Lesson 2 the exercise is to make a contact with someone you don’t know. This maybe hard, so please do not be discouraged. If it is really hard, then practice just making eye contact and smile. Even if it is a rainy day you can simply say, “It such a nice day.” I believe that works for any weather because I love all weather. When it is raining and cold it is a great day to go out and get a cup of coffee, or stay in with a hot bowl of soup.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8
Basically, Paul is telling us what we have heard from that old saying, “Think good thoughts”. If we fill our heads with good thoughts, like what we like to do on a rainy day, then good things will come to mind when you want to make a contact with someone.
If you do not fix your thoughts on these simple things, you may find yourself with nothing to talk about. When you talk about simple things, such as watching the rain from the warmth of your home while eating a bowl of chicken noodle soup, people can relate. These simple little nostalgic conversations opens up a door and allows you to share something you love with a complete stranger. Don’t be surprised when you learn something about them.
Other ways to start a conversation is just notice something neat in your surroundings, or maybe a person is wearing something that you like. (Do comment on wedding bands! Wrong first impression.) You maybe in line at a deli, or getting coffee, take a look around and see if you see anything interesting. Remember, in this lesson you only care about breaking down a barrier, so you don’t need to start a conversation. Just find some way to make a contact.
A simple, “Nice scarf”, or “Nice tie”, is enough for this lesson. You just need to get yourself accustom to making a contact with a complete stranger. You maybe nervous, and your heart is pounding. I know, I have been there when my dear friend and evangelical mentor Don Carlson would challenge me to go pray for someone, and I would have to either cower or respond. I responded, but I was nervous and I felt foolish. But those feelings are from the point of view of a person sheltered in their comfort zone, where Satan wants us. These feelings need to be stepped on and crushed. You must be willing to crush them.
Having a friend with you can make all the difference in the world. If you are alone, just realize what you are doing is breaking the shackles that keep you from answering God’s call to tell the world of the Good News. You have to keep trying, even if you find yourself failing, because one day you will be free to evangelize. It is inevitable.