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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Evangelism (11/01/07)

TITLE: What Is Evangelism?
By AJ Woodson
11/07/07


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WHAT IS EVANGELISM?

Evangelism in my opinion can not be reduced to a simple formula. To me is simply means to teach, preach, lead and spiritually uplift others. Depending on the group of people you are trying to reach, it can take on many different forms. Myself I have been involved in the hip-hop industry for 20 plus years. So what I do make look different than say someone reaching folks in Middle America.
Last year I did a massive landscaping job for a co worker of my wife. After planting several plants, trees, bushes and shrubs through out the different flower beds, I noticed all the plants didnít grow the same. Some took right away and needed very little attention, some needed extra watering, some needed extra miracle grow or root stimulator. Yet some other needed to be replanted in a more shaded area or where they could receive maximum sun.
There were others that just didnít grow at all no matter what I did and some that looked like they would grow and eventually flourished because I didnít give up on them. This was my first experience in a landscaping job of that magnitude and I have to admit I got frustrated when some of the plants died no matter what I did, and was glad I didnít give up on others that finally grew.
I used that example because evangelism is a lot like that. You will not always see results as you preach and teach Godís Word. God gives us a choice and you can not force an individual to believe. It does follow a mathematical equation like 4:1 ratio of seeds planted to seeds sprouted. People respond differently because they are in different states of readiness. Itís the miracle of Godís Holy Spirit as He uses you to lead others to Him.

He said to His disciples, ďThe harvest is so great, but the workers are so few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask Him to send out more workers for His fields.Ē Ė Matthew 9: 37-38

We as Christians, as believers we should all be personally responsible to pass on the gospel of Christ. Jesus needs workers, who know how to deal with peopleís problems. Who can comfort others and show them the way to live and helped them with their problems through our own personal testimonies. (2 Corinthians 1: 3-7)

Make no mistake about it, takes a lot of patience and perseverance and it will not be easy. We have to understand when talking to people that it takes time to accept something that changes the very foundation of their very existence. Sharing the gospel will not always have immediate results. When you approach people about letting Jesus change their life you have to give them time to weigh the matter. We must allow them to ask questions and give them time to put the pieces together so to speak.

There are many who are ďa ripe field for harvest,Ē and Jesus referred to them. Many people are ready to give their lives to Christ if someone would just show them how. But there will also be times you will reach some and never know. Like that plants that showed no sign of life put came up later that season or early the next season, all we can do is plant the seeds and leave the rest to God.

Jesus commands us to pray that people will respond to the needs of His workers. Many times when we pray for something, God answers our prayers by using us. Be prepared for God to use you to show another person the way!


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Beth LaBuff 11/10/07
You have some good lessons from your landscaping experience. I like this --"Many times when we pray for something, God answers our prayers by using us." This is a nice devotional.
Gregory Kane11/11/07
I agree with much of what you have written here and your analogy of the landscape gardener is well drawn. Actually, I was a little disappointed that having mentioned your experience in the hip-hop industry, you didnít make this the focus of your piece. Your experiences of one-on-one evangelism would have made for fascinating reading.