Wednesday, 11 May 2016

The joy and sorrow of evangelistic events

I don't know how you feel about evangelistic events.  But as someone who regularly preaches at them I have a curious love hate relationship with them.  I love the fact the we see non-believing friend, family and neighbours come along and hear the gospel and in many cases begin to engage with it and see the gospel in action in the church.

But here's the hate.  I hate the feeling of despair that tends to wash over me in the days afterwards.  There's the usual sense of I wish I'd said that better, or if only I'd tweaked this, or thought of that, which ultimately leads me to remember that salvation is all of God and helpfully is not to do with my gifting or otherwise.  But that's not the biggest hate.  My biggest issue is always the sense afterwards that for those who haven't responded that is another opportunity gone to respond to the gospel, a burden that they have heard the gospel and not responded and what that means for their eternal fate.

I know that I am only responsible for preaching the gospel clearly and winsomely.  But that sense of burden is very real, and I think it's right.  The day I am not burdened for the lost and the implications of their rejecting the wonderful salvation that's on offer in Jesus is the day I think I've forgotten how sweet salvation really is.  So for now I'll keep living with that burden, keep letting it drive me to pray for the lost that the gospel might not be snatched away but might bear fruit over the long term.  And keep on enjoying - for want of a better term - that curious love hate relationship with evangelistic opportunities.

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