The following excellent post comes from Dave Black’s blog (Thursday, October 29, 2009 at 9:04 pm):
People are vulnerable to love. That’s one of the points Becky emphasized with the middle schoolers today. She told the story of a Muslim man in a small village in southern Ethiopia whom she had outfitted with a pair of non-prescription reading glasses. When he left the church compound he told the leaders, “Never have I seen such love as in this place.”
As I’ve reflected over that experience, I’ve become more convinced than ever that the confrontational approach to evangelism is lacking. No, I’m not against passing out a Gospel tract or placing bumper stickers on your car. I’m not against going door to door. In confrontational evangelism, the encounter is unique. It’s usually brief, often intense, and frequently scary. Then it’s over. Many have used that approach successfully. Thank God for them! But nothing is more powerful, in my opinion, than a Spirit-filled individual targeting his or her gifts to meet the needs of others. In southern Ethiopia you couldn’t buy a pair of reading glasses if you had a million dollars. They are not to be had. But when Becky gave that man a free pair of glasses, and when she told them where they had come from — not from the U.S. government, not from the Ethiopian government, but from people in America who love Jesus — and when she told him, “Every time you wear these glasses you will be reminded that Jesus knows you and loves you,” she threw a redemptive switch in that man’s mind.
I can’t overemphasize this point. Evangelism is essentially a lifestyle — a lifestyle of sharing what we have with others with a view to them realizing that there is a Savior, a Lord, a Redeemer named Jesus who loves them. I encourage all of us to develop this capacity to draw others to Christ. Do it however the Spirit leads you. But do it with a gentle, loving spirit. After all, as Becky emphasized in her talk, people of all stripes need to see and feel love. If we don’t have a genuine love for other people, we have probably forfeited our right to evangelize them!
Meditate on that last line for a few minutes: “If we don’t have a genuine love for other people, we have probably forfeited our right to evangelize them.
I think this is especially true for those times when we use a more “confrontational approach.” What do you think?