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How Do We Evangelize? - Be Relevant: Connect With People Where They Are

How Do We Evangelize? - Be Relevant: Connect With People Where They Are

Written By: Dr. Angel

Welcome to Part 20 of our current blog series; "Evangelism". Click here for Part 19, "How Do We Evangelize? - Sola Scriptura: Stick to the Word of God".

The fifth practical key to evangelism is “Be relevant: Connect with people where they are.”

One of the fastest ways to lose people’s attention in a conversation is to begin talking about something that is irrelevant to their interests or the topic at hand. Imagine a group that's entrenched in a deep discussion when someone interjects with a notion that is completely off topic. Now imagine the awkward pause and puzzled looks as a result of the interjection.

After this brief loss of connectivity, the conversation continues without the slightest acknowledgement of the random words that were previously presented. Realizing the irrelevance of the comment, the originator is unable to connect and slowly fades into the background in silence. They’ve just been irrelevant!☺ We have all observed similar situations or have even been the one responsible.

When you are irrelevant you are ignored. As human beings it is in our nature to connect and be relevant. Why do you think Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Skype, etc. are so popular? Humans need to relate to other humans! So why not connect over something that brings us life like The Gospel? However, for this to be possible in the process of evangelism, we must connect with people where they are.

In today’s society, there are people who need to hear the Good News in every setting. There are lost people in parks, palaces, slums, mansions, alleys, boardwalks, shelters, corporations, and even churches. In any environment you can find lost souls and Jesus longs for every one of them to know His love.

Luke 19:10 (NASB) – “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."

John 7:37 (KJV) – “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.”

So how can you be relevant and connect with people right where they are?

First, take a minute and survey the environment that you are in. Where has God placed you to influence people for Christ? What is your occupation? Where do you frequently shop in your community? Who are your neighbors? What streets do you pass while doing errands? What public transport do you take to the office? What school do you attend? What outreach or missions opportunities are offered at your church?

Second, think about the people you encounter daily within these environments. Are the people you encounter different from you? What ways can you be relevant to people within your environment. How can you relate to the people around you? How might you demonstrate love and humility in your interactions? What might be some common areas of interest you could discuss? What topics might you discuss with them to build a basis for cordial conversation? What needs or concerns do they share? What suggestions, advice, or resources can you offer to meet their immediate needs if they show interest?

Paul modeled this process by displaying love and humility when sharing his faith with the lost. He also demonstrated relevance by creating common ground between himself and those he was seeking to witness to in order to win them to Christ.

1 Corinthians 9:19 – 23 (NLT) – “Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ. When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ. When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.”

Jesus also modeled this process for us when He lovingly and humbly spent time with the tax collectors and sinners. He demonstrated relevance by going to the places where the lost were and showing His interest in them.

Matthew 9:10 (NASB) – “Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples.”

Luke 5:29-31(NLT) – “Later, Levi held a banquet in his home with Jesus as the guest of honor. Many of Levi’s fellow tax collectors and other guests also ate with them. But the Pharisees and their teachers of religious law complained bitterly to Jesus’ disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with such scum?” Jesus answered them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.”

Jesus demonstrated His ultimate love ad humility by leaving heaven and coming to earth as a human being to die for our sins. He was relevant by becoming a human being for our sake, sheding His blood for our sins, and rising again.

Philippians 2:6-8 (NLT) – “Though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, He gave up His divine privileges, He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”

Daily, we must die to self, uphold the truth, and use wisdom to become relevant to those around us in order to evangelize. Jesus has made a way for everyone to come. Let’s follow His example to reach the lost!

Luke 4: 21-24 (NLT) – “The servant returned and told his master what they had said. His master was furious and said, ‘Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame. ’After the servant had done this, he reported, ‘There is still room for more.’ So his master said, ‘Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full. For none of those I first invited will get even the smallest taste of my banquet.’”

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