Do You Believe in Stranger Evangelism?
“You believe in stranger evangelism?! I just don’t think that’s an effective approach in our society today.”
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard Christians say something along these lines. Maybe they’ve had a bad experience. Maybe they’ve never tried it. It’s often a cover for fear.
Sometimes they continue, “I believe you first have to develop a personal relationship with people before you can witness to them.”
So, how’s that going? How is your witness going to your closest friends and family who don’t know Jesus? I think those who hesitate to reach out to strangers would admit it’s not going so well on that front either. Often people fear they may jeopardize valued relationships by sharing their faith...so they don’t.
Now don’t get me wrong. I believe that developing a personal relationship with people is important in creating trust. We can carry spiritual conversations across the bridges we build in a way that shows we care. But at the end of the day, our love doesn’t change hearts; only Jesus’ love can do that.
In fact, it’s because of that amazing gospel message that we can confidently approach strangers. Paul declared, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). The gospel may not always bring people closer to us, but it’s the only thing that can bring them closer to God.
In a way, all evangelism is stranger evangelism. By nature, sin makes all of us strangers to God. This often makes people afraid of facing God in death. They’re afraid he’s out to get them. Some push the thought of God out of their minds by claiming there is no God.
What an amazing message we have to share! God is not distant or foreign. He calls us friends. He welcomes us into his family. He wants a personal relationship with those who don’t yet know him.
And he uses members of his family like you to share his love with others. Paul shared the gospel in many places with people he didn’t know. Philip shared the Word with the Ethiopian. Jesus reached out to the Samaritan woman. “How can people call on him if they have not believed in him? How can they believe in him if they have not heard the message? How can they hear if no one tells the Good News?” (Romans 10:14-15). The urgency to reach the lost calls us to reach out to strangers.
So, how do we reach out to strangers? Here are a few ideas:
You could go on a mission trip or help your church go door to door in the community.
You could go to a university campus and, with a whiteboard in hand, ask students to vote for what they think happens when we die. Then ask why they answered that way.
You could ask the person in the grocery store what line they’re in or the person at the airport where their final destination is.
When it comes to low-risk relationships, you’ve got nothing to lose and they’ve got everything to gain.
Another way to participate in stranger evangelism is to witness to Mormon missionaries. They are often young, isolated from family, and longing for connection. They already come to you with the purpose of having a spiritual conversation. They’re still strangers to Jesus, but the Spirit can use you to change that. To learn more about this amazing opportunity visit pleaseopenthedoor.com.
We’ve seen God bring about spectacular transformations through stranger evangelism. We’ve also seen many Christians begin with witnessing in low-risk relationships, grow in confidence, and then share the gospel with friends and family.
Do I believe in stranger evangelism? Absolutely! How about you? Comment below to encourage others by sharing an example of a time you participated in stranger evangelism and God blessed your efforts.