As I got my haircut today I noticed the accent of the lady cutting my hair and asked where she was from. She said she was from Ukraine so I asked what part. She explained that she was from the south near Moldova. I told her I have always wanted to go to Ukraine and this piqued her interest. She asked, "why, for tourism?" I said, "no to tell the people about Jesus." This is where the conversation got interesting.... She asked what religion I am so I said that I follow Jesus. This became confusing to her and she continued for some time trying to get me to identify myself as protestant, catholic, or something else. It was then that I began to explain that I do not follow a set of rules of "dos and don't" but rather I follow a person. He tells me what to do and I do that. I look at Him and follow Him and as a result I am becoming more and more like Him.
She asked, "in your religion can I drink?" I proceeded to tell her the story about how Jesus spent a lot of time with drunkards and prostitutes. He loved them, provided for them, healed them, and showed them love when the rest of the world despised and rejected them. I told her about how many people had a serious problem understanding and grasping the radical nature of Jesus' love for them. These were some of His first followers. This led to a further discussion about the American legal system and the way that she has been treated in the United States. BY the end of the conversation she thanked me and said that it was very interesting to her to learn about Jesus this way.
Somehow it seems that those outside of the Kingdom have gathered from us that following Jesus is about what we do and don't do versus following a Person. Evangelism has nothing to do with following a prescribed formula or saying the right words. Evangelism is about lifting up Jesus and allowing Jesus to draw people to Himself. I have yet to meet a person who initially came to Jesus with pure motives -- not one. It has been said, "we are all heretics when we come to Jesus." I have heard of evangelism methods that grade the students on what they say and don't say. From my knowledge of that method I am pretty sure Jesus would have been dinged pretty heavily on almost every encounter He had with people.
Jesus said that the result of following Him would be fishing for people. It is not that we go searching for the fishing but rather the natural outworking of following Jesus is that we are fishing for people. This is what Jesus did. This will be the result of the same Spirit living in us that lived in Him -- He does not change.
Speak of Jesus...a lot! And watch Him draw people to Himself.