Home > Apologia, Sharing Your Faith > Talkin’ to my neighbor

Talkin’ to my neighbor

So, I’m in the middle of reading this book right now by Bill Hybels called “Just Walk Across the Room.”Just Walk Across The Room  I had heard about it before, but I’ve never had the chance to read it until now.  I was in the New Castle Public Library, making my daily stop (Let me insert a short novel here:  the library here is setting an amazing standard.  Not only do they have a great selection of books, but I won’t ever have to pay to rent a movie again.  I mean seriously, I can go in, rent an entire season of Criminal Minds…for free) Anyways, at the library I got the book.  I am just on chapter 2, but it’s already making an interesting impact on me.  As the name of the book suggests, sharing the Gospel message is just as easy as walking across the room.  This is something that I struggle with…not the walking part, but the sharing my faith part.  I don’t see the world as “lost”.  I don’t have a burden.  Well, I didn’t.

About two weeks ago, I was singing at church in the choir, and I looked at across the crowd.  The church family is beautiful, but I noticed…wow, there’s not a lot of people here today.  I wasn’t complaining that our numbers are not up, because numbers are in no way a sign of success and Godliness.  But, it made me start thinking…if this is the biggest crowd that we can get on a Sunday morning, how much sharing of our faith and inviting people to church goes on here – me included!  Thus, a great burden was placed on my heart for the city of New Castle.  Now, almost everywhere I go, I catch myself looking at people and wondering if they have a church home.  This book, I hope, prods me to begin finding myself having the burden, and then acting upon it.

So, what do apologetics and evangelism have in common?  A lot and not much all at the same time.  I see it two different ways.

1.) Today’s society is pretty jacked up.  Like last post stated, people believe a lot of crazy stuff.  If you encounter someone on the street who doesn’t believe in God, or they’re an atheistic Buddhist, and they know a lot about their faith, know a lot about yours, and you get in a deep discussion….you’re going to probably look like a fool.  Me too.  I know nothing of other religions.  Thus, apologetics finds its way in preparing us and assisting us in evangelism, so that we can know who were are speaking with.  Look at Paul in Acts 17, he knew the men of Athens.  Who used their own poets to reach them.  Some believed, some didn’t, but Paul was knowledgeable.

2.) Apologetics doesn’t have much to do with evangelism.  Why?  Because it is not us who does any work whatsoever in a person’s spiritual life.  God, by means of His Holy Spirit, has the power to convict and soften any heart He so chooses.  Thus, it is great to be prepared, but the truth is, having a great defense of your faith, and knowing what the Bahá’í faith believes is only worth so much.  Where the greatest value comes is when God’s Spirit completely and totally takes root in these people’s hearts.  Sometimes, they don’t have to get a fancy argument from me about why Bahá’í isn’t the true path, because God has made the true path completely clear.  Other times, it might take a bit of knowledge on Mormon faith to initially get this person moving, but again, it’s important to remember that it’s never a reflection of our knowledge.

So, in the future, keep your eye out for a review about this book, as well as hopefully a great challenge, or even better, some great stories about people I have encountered along the way.  Until then, what kind of people do you see?  Listen closely, maybe God is asking you to Just Walk Across the Room.

  1. July 4, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    I am currently reading this book, and I picked up my copy at the library too!

  2. July 4, 2008 at 4:02 pm


    Pretty much every person, and especially religious people all have something in common.

    – Catholics think that getting baptized, taking communion, etc. is making up for their sins, so they can go to heaven
    – Mormons think that getting baptized and repenting every so often will make up for their sins so they can go to heaven.
    – Jehovah’s Witnesses thing that getting baptized and going door to door will make up for their sins so they can go to heaven.
    – Muslims think that keeping the five pillars of Islam will make up for their sins and they’ll go to heaven.
    – Buddhists think that if they perform the proper rituals they’ll stop being concerned about the material world and they’ll stop having to be reincarnated.
    – Hindus think yoga and sacrifices to idols will reincarnate them into a better life.

    Almost everyone thinks their good or religious deeds will make up for their sins, and some people even throw Jesus (or their false concept of Jesus) into the mix. I think our task is to tell them the standard that God is going to judge them by, and make sure they realize they can’t keep it. The law brings people to Christ (Galatians 3:24), and leaves those trusting in themselves hopeless (Romans 3:19-20). Then the good news of the gospel will be really good news.

    I enjoy talking to Jehovah’s Witnesses, and you can spend hours debating them, or you can go through some of the law, and show them their situation. You can show them that they’ll never be able to knock on enough doors to make up for the lie they told last week.

    You can listen to a sermon on this topic by Ray Comfort at http://www.wayofthemaster.com/audiolessons.shtml called “Hell’s Best Kept Secret.” I don’t mean to sound like a commercial for them, but he explains it much better than I can.

    It sounds like you’re doing good getting started on evangelism.


  3. Lindsey
    July 9, 2008 at 12:27 am

    So I was in Sunday school and Donnie-my teacher-asked if any of us ever saw someone and wondered, “what are they doing with their life?” We all sat, stared and didn’t answer. He said he did it all of the time. So he shared a time when he was at O’Charley’s or some restaurant and saw a young guy and wondered if he was in school or if he lived at home, just general questions about his life. I asked if he asked the guy any of these questions thinking that maybe that is where my teacher was going. He said that he didn’t because he seemed as if he did not want to be bothered. But my asking made us all think about the impact even having a simple conversation can do. Whether it’s a room a store or a street I think we could all do a little walking.

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