Nathan Campbell, an Australian pastor and blogger, came up with the phrase, “Evangelism in a skeptical world is basically a team game.”12 We need to do evangelism together, as a team, playing off the same playbook.
Nathan showed me that in 1 Thessalonians 1:4–10, which is one of the great go-to passages for a model of Paul’s evangelism, Paul writes, “You know how we lived among you” (v. 5, emphasis added). For way too long I had misread that verse as, “You know how I lived among you.” But Paul says we.
It was a community of believers who lived among the pre-believing Thessalonians. Not just Paul the individual. It was a community. In other words, evangelism is more than me going out solo to tell my friends about Jesus. My community of Christian friends also needs to live among my non-Christian friends and become their friends.
We can introduce our Christian friends to our non-Christian friends. We can become their tribe, village, and community. And then, bit by bit, the story of Jesus will be more believable than they had ever dared to imagine.
Chan, Sam, and Ed Stetzer. 2020. How to Talk about Jesus (without Being That Guy): Personal Evangelism in a Skeptical World. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
Check out our Bible Study on Sam Chan’s book How to Talk About Jesus. It is on Amazon as well as part of the Good Questions Have Groups Talking subscription service. Like Netflix for Bible Lessons, one low subscription gives you access to all our lessons–thousands of them. For a medium-sized church, lessons are as little as $10 per teacher per year.
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