One young salesman was so disappointed when he lost a big sale. He complained to his sales manager, “I guess it just shows that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.” The manager wisely answered, “Your job is not to make it drink. Your job is to make it thirsty.” (Adapted from Preaching magazine, November-December 1985.)
It’s the same with evangelism. During the first two years after receiving the Lord, a believer experiences “evangelism explosion.” He shares the good news of salvation left and right. But it’s sad that, after two years, he experiences “evangelism erosion.” He rarely reaches out to others, if ever he does it again. Like the young salesman, we excuse it by saying that it’s hard to convert a person.
Why do we lose the passion for evangelism? Because we forgot what’s our job really is. When we share the Gospel, our job is not to convert. Our job is to make him or her thirsty for God. That’s why Jesus called us the salt of the earth: “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You've lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.” (Matthew 5:13, The Message) Our lives should create a thirst for God in people’s hearts.
Whenever I ask those who stopped sharing the Gospel, I usually hear them saying that people question the way they are living. So what’s the solution? Stop evangelizing? No! Instead, work on the problem areas of our lives that are hindering us from sharing the Gospel. “Honor Christ and let him be the Lord of your life. Always be ready to give an answer when someone asks you about your hope. Give a kind and respectful answer and keep your conscience clear. This way you will make people ashamed for saying bad things about your good conduct as a follower of Christ.” (1 Peter 3:15-16, CEV) We need not be perfect to evangelize. But we need to reinforce our words with our works.
Brethren, let us walk our talk and talk our walk!