A conversation, not a recitation

A conversation, not a recitation

“In her very helpful and encouraging book on evangelism, Out of the Saltshaker and Into the World, Rebecca Manley Pippert tells a story about how she and a younger Christian student were on an evangelistic training weekend (p. 60). One day on a beach she and her friend met a number of religious sceptics and had a lively discussion about the Christian faith. At the end they exchanged addresses. Afterwards, Rebecca was feeling pretty good about the interaction until she looked at her young assistant. He seemed a little quiet, so she asked him if anything was wrong.

He confessed that he thought the day’s encounter had been an absolute failure. “There are four major points to the gospel and you only brought in two of them,” he lamented, “and they weren’t even in the right order!”

“What were the names of the three people we met this afternoon?” Rebecca asked him.

“Oh, I don’t know,” he said. “Whatever difference does that make? There were two women and a man. Or was it the other way around?”

Many fall in the trap of wanting to recite the gospel within the earshot of another person instead of conversing with them and interactively communicating the message of salvation.

Evangelism is communication, not recitation.”

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