True Evangelism

I was home sick this Sunday morning, so while the family was at church, I was on the couch watching the church service from Wave Church in Virginia Beach. I had never heard of the church, but happened to click past a very fired-up dude with a cool Australian accent. I was honestly mostly just watching to see how far off-base his teaching would be, since most of the dudes on TV are not preaching the Gospel you’ll find in the Bible.

Anyways, the message ended up being pretty solid, and at one point, he used this video as an illustration.

The video is a 5-minute “Penn Speaks” bit, where ‘Penn’ of ‘Penn and Teller’ fame, describes an encounter he has with a Christian after a show.

Check it out:

What do you think? Don’t we need more dudes like this?

What if this was the reputation that Christians shared all over our country and our world?

Let’s talk about it here. Why isn’t this the case? What needs to change?

(I’ll keep this post at the top of the blog for a little while)


  1. In my experience, most Christians feel that they have to “close the deal” right there on the spot, or they are not really evangelizing. I believe, that leads to people feeling like they are being attacked.

    On the side of the Christian, we often do not speak up because we fear that even if we approach people in a non-attacking way, that we will be attacked by the person we are talking to.

    I think Penn has a great point. If we really believe what we say we believe then it says a lot more about us when we do not evangelize than when we do.

    Thanks for posting the video. I look forward to what others have to say.

  2. @Shannon – I totally agree! And I had forgotten that he made that point.

    For those to ADD to watch the video, he basically says that he respect Christians who share their faith, and doesn’t understand christians who don’t share their faith. He says, “If I think I see a truck bearing down on you, and you don’t listen to me when I tell you to move, there comes a point where I tackle you.”

    Very convicting…

  3. Any time we move at the prompting of the Spirit of God, we are walking in the obedience of faith, and any time that we do what we think we should for any other reason, I think we are not walking in the obedience of faith. I used to go down to the park many years ago in Colorado and try and evangelize. That was such a disaster. But in my heart I wanted to share Christ with people so bad…I felt so guilty all the time feeling like I should be grabbing people by the collar and trying to get the “Good News” into them. Ironically, whenever I got to know neighbors or people at work, the gospel was eventually shared from the basis of relationship, and through the divine prompting of the Holy Spirit. My point is, we gotta keep remembering that it is not to the man who wills or to the man who runs, but to God who gives mercy! God is the One Who must direct our steps. I think we put ridiculous burdens on ourselves when we think of evangelizing in terms of the oncoming truck analogy because many voices from many directions can all be screaming to a deaf person that there is a truck coming, but they do not have ears to hear. God is the One Who opens the “ears” and tells us when to speak to the heart that is ready.

  4. Excellent point Linda, and well put.

    A year or two ago — ironically on Shannon’s recommendation — I read “Just Walk Across The Room” by Bill Hybells. He makes almost the exact same point, and it seriously affected me.

    He put it roughly this way:

    ‘If I can lay down in bed at night know that I was obedient to the Holy Spirit for the day, then I sleep well. God is the orchestrator. We just need to play our parts.’

    And yet, I still feel a tension when I hear Penn, a staunch atheist, ask, “How much do you have to hate someone not to share the Gospel with them if you believe that without it, they will suffer through eternity?”

    I guess when that question is in my mind, I’ll be a whole lot more likely to pay attention when the Holy Spirit is prompting me!

  5. Everything I have learned about morality and faith has been through interactions with people who are close to me. So I am not a fan of evangelism but at the same time I understand why people do it. I don’t like it because to me morality and faith are very intimate topics and I think they should be discussed in an intimate settings. I think discussions about whether people believe in God are a waste of time. It is unlikely that anything a person can *say* is going to make someone believe in God. However, extreme life circumstances may at least force someone to consider God’s existence or non existence. So if you are a Christian and you are meeting new people and getting to know them then you are likely impacting their life in a positive way just by building the relationship. To me that’s the bread and butter of changing lives… getting to know people and them getting to know you.

  6. @JP Thanks for your comment!

    I totally agree with you about relationships.

    I was heavily involved with Campus Crusade for Christ at NC State when I was there, and during that time, I had lots of opportunities to do ‘random evangelism’ where I would just approach strangers with a survey or some tool. And I also had tons of opportunities to build relationships with people in every walk of life as a bridge over which to carry the Gospel.

    The ‘random evangelism’ made me so much more thankful for and intentional with the natural relationships in my life.

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