The title captured my attention “Evangelism in a Skeptical World” by Dr. Sam Chan. I quite liked it, mostly because it confirms much of what I feel about evangelism, and don’t we all like the voices from the echo chamber that tell us “we are right!”. I was interested though when Chan explained a new, or at least new to me, method of sharing my story. Rather than the “I was born into a Christian family …” or “My life as prodigal was ….” versions which are limited in variety and relatability, Chan proposes a personalized and unique, to me, story. It need not be a conversion story but illustrates the reasons that I am glad to have Christ in my life. I can tell that part of my story which is most relatable to my friend.
He suggests we relate our ‘life mission’ apart from Christ what we were purposed to do and be and the results of living out that mission.
I was born as the middle child. I was determined not to be ruled by my older and stronger brothers. I became someone who schemed and scammed to get my way in life. I developed humour as weapon to wield against more powerful people. Cleverness and humour became my native language. As long as these worked for me, I felt secure, but these proved ineffective tools for many of the situations to confront me in life.
By themselves being clever or being funny are not bad at all. In fact, I think that native cleverness and humour are rich gifts from God, but they are poor substitutes for the security which I have discovered in my relationship with Jesus. Now that I have come to know acceptance in the family of God, I do not need to cleverly scheme, or use humour to deflect. I know who I am by virtue of my connection with the creator and now I can use my God given gifts creatively and for positive purposes.
These gifts which have derailed me, so often, in the past, now are great assets to me in my life of mission and evangelism. I have great fun coming up with clever ways to engage others whether it is in giving electric blankets, taking people on holidays or throwing a Fandango. Our Drop In is a place filled with laughter because of my gift of humour. People come in sad or angry and are lifted due to the positive fun we have.
I have often heard the phrase “God has a wonderful plan for your life”. I use it seldom thinking that it is truth better learned in hind-sight but it is a truth. God plans to take the broken me and restore me. I do not become less as he heals me, but I become more.
Day to day I can still easily fall into the bad habits of scheming to get my way or using humour as weapon. I need God’s help every day and I need his forgiveness too! The good news is that God promises both. Isn’t that Good News!