Trek 2008 - Jesus Style Evangelism
Trek 2008 – Jesus Style Evangelism
By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady
1 Cor 2:16
But we have the mind of Christ. NIV
So far I’ve written about two evangelistic techniques that I’ve discovered as I’ve traveled. I nicknamed them “Jesus on the Spot” and “Drive By Evangelism.” Now I’m writing about my personal favorite – what I call “Jesus Style Evangelism.”
When Jesus walked the countryside, He talked, listened, and told stories. He asked questions, drew people in, and masterfully illuminated the pain, sin, and/or needs of a person. He quoted the Bible but didn’t give chapter and verse. He used varied stories and scriptures, depending on the needs of the individual or group He was with and left them with a solution that could draw them to God if they acted on it.
While I use many evangelistic styles on Pocket Full of Quarters Journeys, I use this style the most often. If I started my morning with prayer, meditation, and Bible Study and asked God for knowledge of His will and the power to carry it out, I can go out confident that I have the mind of Christ. People say I’m gifted at getting people to open up and share their needs but I’ve just learned a secret – if I ask God to orchestrate meetings and supply words, He’ll say yes. If I can have the mind of Christ and the person I’m speaking with needs Christ, how can I fail?
Belle and I stopped at a flea market in Idaho and wandered through the booths. This market was dog friendly so while I visited with people, Belle visited with other dogs. Who knows – maybe she was evangelizing as well.
I talked with various people that day and debated which example to offer as “Jesus Style Evangelism.” Young, artistic, interesting Tiffany is the face that haunts me the most so I’ll talk about her. (See Photo Gallery – Idaho – Highway 84 Flea Market)
I noticed Tiffany right away because of the dimples. I said, “I’ll bet you’ve been told all of your life that your dimples are beautiful.”
The dimples deepened with her smile. Yes, I have.”
“Did you make this jewelry?” I asked. She was weaving as we talked.
“Mostly,” she said.
“You have Christian jewelry. Are you a Christian?” I asked. Tiffany wore her sandy blond hair in a tattered weave tucked under a blue scarf. Her tank top revealed pale, sunburned skin that looked like it hurt. Eclectic jewelry adorned her body and told a tale of a young woman with eclectic tastes. I liked her instantly.
“No,” she said. “I went to a Seventh Day Adventist high school. I was really into Christianity back then but don’t believe it anymore.”
“Did you go through the process of confessing your sins and asking Jesus into your life?” I asked.
“Sure,” she laughed. “Every Sunday! I would run down the aisle, cry, confess, and start over.”
I laughed. “It doesn’t sound like it took. If you really accepted Jesus, you’d only have to do that once.”
“It didn’t take,” she said. “I believe in lots of stuff.”
“I can tell that by your necklaces,” I said. “I see a Wicca symbol, a Ying and Yang, and a New Age symbol. What I don’t see is one of those crosses you made.”
She looked impressed that I knew the symbols. “Actually, I didn’t make the crosses. I’m showing these for another artist.”
“Aha,” I said. “That explains it. I am a Christian and the crosses caught my eye.” I told her a little about the ministry and my calling from God. “I’m just a nomad. Have you ever read the Bible?” I asked.
“I used to read it all the time. I don’t like it. It is a bigoted book.”
“Bigoted,” I exclaimed. “Are you reading the same Bible I read?”
She laughed. “It says the way other people believe is wrong. It is against certain lifestyles.”
“Are you gay?” I asked, knowing the word “lifestyle” is often a euphemism for the gay lifestyle.
“No,” she said. “But that is what I meant. My friends are and I don’t like what it says about them.”
“My son David was gay,” I said. “I didn’t like it when people hated him because of it. I loved him and lost him to AIDS in 1995. I love my Bible and trust what it says. I woke up this morning and couldn’t wait to read it. It amazes me that God speaks directly to me through it. The Bible I read fights for equality, says prejudice is wrong, and teaches me to love others as much as I love myself. It is because of that Bible that I was drawn to you today. I sure can tell you march to your own drummer. Are you a student?”
“No,” she said. “But I do like to do things my own way. I think college is for greedy people wanting to make money. I don’t need it. I can do art.”
“Do you make enough to live on from your art?” I asked.
“Not really,” she admitted.
“You know,” I said. “The Bible was full of rebels who broke the rules. In fact, they were usually the heroes.”
Tiffany thought for a moment. “Jesus was rebel, that’s for sure.”
“Yes He was,” I agreed. “He didn’t like greed either and pointed it out whenever He had the chance. Remember how He stood up to the political leaders of the day. It got Him crucified.”
“That’s true,” Tiffany said thoughtfully.
A customer walked up and the time with Tiffany was over. It was actually a long conversation and this is just an abbreviated version.
“I enjoyed meeting you. You’re an interesting person. May I take your picture for my website?”
“Sure,” she said, taking the Pocket Full of Change card and quarter I handed her. “This quarter represents the free grace God offers you.”
“You’re interesting too,” Tiffany said. : “I just read a book about a nomad that I think you’ll enjoy.” She wrote the name of the book down on a sheet of paper. I left praying she was intrigued enough to open her Bible again.
Does this style work? It did for Jesus. I’ve had people e-mail me years later that they never forgot the conversation and finally accepted Christ as their savior. Someone else had the privilege of being a part of the final moment but that divinely inspired conversation had been a part of God’s plan to bring him or her to Jesus. What a privilege it is to be a tiny thread in the fabric of the life of people around me.
Cheryle M. Touchton is the Director of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. For more information or to schedule a speaker for an event, go to www.pocketfullofchange.org or call Gail Golden at 904 316-5462.
This ministry exists because people like you are called to help fund the work of the kingdom. To help keep the Pocket Full of Quarters Lady on the road as a traveling missionary, send your tax deductible contribution to Pocket Full of Change Ministries, POB 51205, Jacksonville Beach, Florida 32240.
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