You know when a class begins with the question “Who have you personally shared the Gospel with?”, it’s going to be a doozy. And that was just the first of many questions that challenged me this morning as we studied Acts 28.
Do you know people with the gift of evangelism? (Eph. 4:11) It’s because I do know people with this gift that I’m convinced I am not one of them. Yes, every believer has the privilege and responsibility to share the Gospel. Yes, every believer has a story to share and should remain sensitive as we look for opportunities to share it, but I’m referring to believers much like my friend Brenda Bagwell. She is truly one of the godliest women I have ever known. She always has a smile on her face and the Gospel on the tip of her tongue.
I’ll never forget the time I went on a Wednesday night visitation with her. We knocked on a first-time visitor’s door a couple of times. No reply. OK, at that point I’m ready to jump back in the car. (Oh, did I fail to mention my motive for being there in the first place? I had been told that all “good” Sunday School teachers participate in visitation — but I’ll save that for another post. For now, let’s just say my motive that night was to check “visitation” off my list. How’s that for honesty?) Back to the story… Brenda proceeds to knock at the front door, and the more she knocks, the more embarrassed I become. Finally, the knocking ceases. I can’t begin to explain the relief that came over me. While I was drowning in my pool of relief, Brenda began walking around to the back door! At that point, I would have settled for being an average substitute teacher. Have mercy! Needless to say, the woman finally realized she was up against a force much greater than herself… a person with the gift of evangelism. It was a beautiful sight! God’s gifting in action.
One thing I learned that night. Not every believer has the gift of evangelism, but every believer is called to evangelize. Just in different ways.
You may not hear me tapping on any doors, but rest assured, Sherri’s challenge woke me up to the fact that I’ve not been taking evangelism serious enough in recent years. Sherri’s tears broke my heart as I realized I hadn’t even noticed until today.
Thank God for Sherri and all teachers of the living and active Word!