I’m terribly sorry I just evangelized all over you.
That’s how we can feel after spewing a full stomach of precious information on an unsuspecting stranger or friend. It can seem like sharing our faith requires shoveling coal into the engine, getting the big gears going, and building up a serious head of steam to push us over the hump. No wonder evangelism is a sensitive subject.
Sex and Evangelism
Mack Stiles is happy to try coming to the rescue — not that he’s any kind of superman at sharing his faith. He’s plenty ordinary, without any special “gift of evangelism,” but he’s learned over the years how to communicate the world’s most important truths in regular dialogue, with a listening ear, and with the willingness to take a breath between sentences.
Sex and evangelism, says Stiles, are two good things from God about which the devil loves to trick us into feeling of a false sense of guilt. Don’t let evangelism be this scary, negative thing. Better to slow down, treat the person you’re sharing with as a fellow human, and ask God for the perspective of 2 Corinthians 5:16–21 — no longer regarding others with the eyes of the flesh, but with the eyes of Jesus.
Stiles is CEO of Gulf Digital Solutions in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and serves as general secretary for the Fellowship of Christian UAE Students. He’s the author of the book Marks of the Messenger: Knowing, Loving, and Speaking the Gospel, of which D.A. Carson says, “I do not think I have ever read a book on evangelism that makes me more eager to pass it on than this one — better, that makes me more eager to evangelize than this one.” Stiles also is one of the visionaries behind the upcoming Cross student missions conference this December.
In this episode of Theology Refresh, we talked with Stiles about evangelism, which he describes as an attempt to persuade, or teach the gospel message, in view of some kind of response of faith. Evangelism is not just about what we say, and don’t say, but about who we are and how deeply we’re continuing to be beneficiaries of the same good news we’re seeking to win others to.