Everyday Evangelism: The Importance of Faithful Laymen

by Cale Fauver March 26, 2020

An Inside Job

It's not  often that the people working the register, behind the desk, driving the truck, or taking your blood pressure will openly engage you in a conversation about their miserable condition before a holy God and the work of Christ on behalf of sinners who will repent and believe. It's not impossible or even far-fetched. If you have a Million Dollar Bill tract from Living Waters or the simple beauty of the Gospel of John handy, you can, if the Lord wills, have a 10-minute presentation/dialogue about the good news of Jesus Christ. But, what doesn't happen often in these encounters is vitally important: follow-up.

So, if you are a regular employee like the vast majority of Americans, it means that you work with unbelieving, unregenerate men and women multiple days per week. In God's unsearchable, wise providence, he has meticulously worked out every detail of your job search, distance circumstances, employee hiring/terminating, pay/benefits needs, and the unbelievers' similar circumstances so that you would be their means of seeing and hearing about the loveliness of Jesus Christ. Evangelism, follow-up, and discipleship is an inside job.

Opening the Door

That being said, we need our pastors and the local church to help. Lay people need the faithful preaching of their pastor. The Wonderful Counselor instructs through the hours and hours of preparation spent by the Christ-exalting pastor to "equip" us for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:12). Pastor, keep preaching, keep encouraging; continue studying, praying, and setting the example that we dearly need and love. As for sharing the gospel? Here are some practical ways to help open the door to talking about the most glorious news that heaven itself sings about:

Get to know your coworkers more. I'm not talking about just the "How are you? Good" conversations followed up by small talk about the weather. These aren't bad, but in a Facebook post, soundbite world we lack the keen eye for genuinely getting to know those we work with. There is some deep-rooted pain and history in their lives, and much sin. Gently ask questions about their life, where they are from, about their family, where they used to work, why they left, etc. Take an interest. Invest into them. And as you do, clear avenues will appear as you ask more questions and walk down those roads together.

Current events. The access to information is a fantastic way to open the evangelistic door. In Acts 17, Paul was in Athens and looked around at what "he saw that the city was full of" (Acts 17:16). And then, the Apostle preached. Current events were currently happening (obviously). As a Christian, you have the only true framework that can truthfully explain anything in the world. Only the Bible can bring light to the haze of darkness. Bring up the news, if it isn't already brought up, and ask questions. What would they have done? What was wrong with that? How did you come to that conclusion? Have you ever considered?

Praying for them. One of the most direct ways is to ask, "How can I pray for you?" or if they are under much pain and distress to ask, "Can I pray with you now?" And then, you pray! Trust the Lord to lead you in this prayer and how to talk with them after. This is a home field advantage. The Lord doesn't hear the prayers of the wicked — but he listens to his children (Proverbs 15:29).

Inviting them to church. Another very direct way that is very simple to do. Invite them to church, ask if/where they attend, and boom!, you have your door. Be sure to allow them to talk as possible explanations come about why they used to attend/don't attend or where they currently go/have gone. It doesn't take long to stand by an apple tree to be able to look at the fruit and know what it is; now, we can't read hearts, no, but we can take an honest approach by observing their lives and being able to take humble, correct steps about where they are in relation to the Lord (again, very vague understandings).

Tell them you went to church. Every Monday one of the things that is asked is, "So, how was your weekend?" Assuming your aren't some CEO Christian (Christmas and Easter Only), you actually attended the gathering on Sunday morning (or Saturday evening, hipster). Say something uncomfortable like, "I had a great weekend: Saturday I did blah blah blah, and Sunday we enjoyed our worship at…" Guess what? Maybe awkward silence. But, maybe not.

Ask them if you can talk to them about God. Seriously? Seriously. It really does work. I don't have a stat sheet for you, but this approach rarely falls through. People love talking about what they think in general about the world by nature; start like this, "Can I ask you a serious (or interesting, or random, or important) question?," and as they answer sure you say, "What do you believe about God?" or "Do you think about life after death?" or "Are you a Christian?" Being direct is more loving than you might think. If you were dying of a disease, the ugliest thing your doctor could do would be to beat around the bush.

There are more ways to bring up the gospel, tons actually. From offering rides to those in need that then makes them a prisoner to what turns out to be a gospel-directed kidnapping/loving offer (whoops), to asking questions about their tattoos, shirts they wear, plans they have for the weekend, etc. 

In the end, I hope that these will be helpful ways for you to tell the greatest story that's hardly ever told. You'd be surprised how many don't know it. And it'll make your week to tell 'em about Christ crucified.

And since it is an inside job, follow up with the unbeliever.

May the Lamb receive the reward for his suffering.