“Don’t Place Evangelism on Hold This Summer”

 

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by Rev. Dr. Otis T. McMillan

“Summertime and the livin’ is easy; Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high. Oh your daddy’s rich and your ma is good lookin’; So hush little baby, don’t you cry.” Those lyrics by noted singer, Ella Fitzgerald was one of the hottest summer tunes aired on radio when I was growing up in eastern North Carolina. During the summer months, some organizations would cancel their monthly meetings; clubs and board took July and August off; others took 3 month summer vacations, and many pastors and congregations tended to lighten their ministry load and place evangelism on hold.

On the farm, summertime was always a busy time for gathering in the harvest. Jesus reminded his disciples about the importance of the harvest. John 4:35, “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” The summer months provide excellent opportunities to cultivate relationships with unbelievers and tell them about our Savior. However, finding time to do so can be a challenge. After all, our summers are often filled with vacations, outdoor events, children’s activities, etc.Larry Moyer in a recent articles entitled, “7 Principles for Sharing Christ with a Busy Summer Schedule” had some interesting things to say. I would like to share excerpts of the article with you. How do we take advantage of the summer months to impact the lost for Christ even in the midst of a busy schedule? Here are some principles to remember and put into practice:

  1. Be balanced – How balanced is your life between non-Christians and Christians? There is nothing Biblical about spending all your time with believers. Jesus Christ spent time with sinners. He was even known as their friend (Matt. 11:19). We cannot have personal evangelism without personal contact.
  2. Be proactive – View relationships with the intent to see the unbelievers come to have the greatest relationship there is – an eternal relationship with Christ. Go to them. Don’t wait for them to come to you. Consider the broad base of non-Christian contacts you already have including:
    • Immediate friends and family
    • Neighbors, co-workers, employees, landlords
    • Newspaper carrier, mailman, barber or hairstylist, grocery store checker, waiter or waitress
    • Car dealer, insurance agent, accountant, attorney, banker
    • Doctor, dentist, nurse, pharmacist
    • Plumber, electrician, mechanic
    • Teacher, professor, coach, classmate
  3. Be intentional – Take the initiative. Look at everything you are doing this summer. Then ask, “Could this be done with a non-Christian included?”
  4. Be sensitive – People that take time to listen are rare in our fast paced culture. Take the time to give someone your undivided attention. Letting them know you care may provide an opportunity to tell them about Christ.
  5. Be prayerful – We are totally dependent on the Holy Spirit in evangelism. Pray that the Lord will provide opportunities, give you the sensitivity to recognize them, and give you boldness to share the gospel.
  6. Be prepared – Move into the gospel presentation as God gives you the opportunity. If you don’t know what to say, beamezion.org offers free on-line evangelism training tools that may be helpful. Get trained so that when God gives you the opportunity, you’ll be ready to share. (So Great A Salvation Tracts will help you clearly understand the message of salvation)
  7. Be creative – For practical tips on how to develop relationships with non-Christians during the summer check out this blog series (Summer Evangelism Ideas, More Summer Evangelism Ideas, And More Summer Evangelism Ideas).

Do you have any strategies to add to this list? Larry Moyer gives us 7 ideas that he has found useful, you may have many others you have used and have proven to be successful. Share them with others. And don’t place evangelism on hold this summer! Visit us on the web: www.beamezion.org and www.evangelismconnections.org for additional articles and helpful tools.