“Inadequate”, “Radical” and “Scary”. These were some emotions and words that first come to mind when I think of evangelization. And when I thought of people who evangelize, I pictured pushy Christians who pretend to ask for surveys on their iPads at MRT Stations. This skewed perception of evangelization began to change when I encountered God and started to fall in love deeper with Him.
Evangelization is not just for the charismatic, the theologians, the experienced; it is and should be as simple as sharing the love of God with someone else. Just like how His love for us overflows, so too our love for Him overflows into our family, friends and the people we meet. It is in fact in our nature to talk about God, our lover. Personally, I might even consider it irresponsible to keep this great love private and merely confined to my journal entries.
That said, I still feel unworthy, and sometimes think myself small and insignificant. In these moments, I remind myself that I’m the only one in the entire universe who can respond to God’s love for me. How I love Him is unique from everyone else. How I love and share Him with others can never be replicated. The same is true for you.
Allow me to share an occasion when I chose to respond with a ‘Yes’ to God.
Exactly one year ago, I met a Christian grab driver named Sean. He shared that he used to be active in church, but stopped as he grew older. Now, his work and pursuit of material things have consumed and overwhelmed him entirely, so much so that he felt very distant from God. As he spoke, I could sense his desire for God. And as I listened, I prayed in my heart for the words to provide him comfort and consolation. As the car reached the destination, I mustered the courage to share with him that he is never too far away from the Father. And that he doesn’t need to worry too much about his work and to trust God and have faith. Before I left, he smiled at me and shook my hand and said that my words brought him a lot of peace.
A few days later, in my night prayers, his name kept coming to mind. And as I prayed for him, I thought of texting him to bless him. When I finally mustered enough courage, I sent him a message praying for him to find hope in God again, and braced myself for the proverbial cold shoulder. To my surprise, the replied thanking me, and assuring me that he too was praying for me!
That night, God assured me that a seed had been sown.
In sharing this experience, my point is that we all have that choice to make. We can either convince ourselves that we are unable, awkward, and that they won’t listen; or we can recognize the opportunity and choose freely to live larger than just our insecurities and inadequacies, to choose God over our comfort, to bring Him to others.
There are also instances in evangelization when we might feel discouraged if we merely look at the outward signs of acceptance. However, it is important that even if our efforts seem futile, we trust in confidence that Jesus will bring our work to completion in His time. As a colleague once said, “Conversion is God’s business, but proclamation is ours”.
When I think of Evangelization now, the words that come to mind are “anointed”, “confident”, “homecoming” and “joy”. To me, to be able to witness a brother or sister coming home to the Father is like having a taste of the joy that Heaven promises. I hope you come to recognize it too. Let your love for God be the biggest motivation for you to praise and share Him with everyone.
In conclusion, I leave you with the chorus of the song “How Can I Keep from Singing”:
How can I keep from singing your praise
How can I ever say enough
How amazing is your love
How can I keep from shouting your name
I know I am loved by the King
And it makes my heart want to sing