Following is a guest post from Dr. Lon Allison
My wife and I took dance lessons before we were married. It was hard at first because we didn’t know the moves, and more, we didn’t know how to move together. But as we practiced, it started becoming natural. I often use dancing as a metaphor for the process of evangelism. There are a few basic steps that when practiced and done in fluid motion with the Lord of the Dance, something wonderful happens. This “Dance of Life” includes Prayer, Care, Dare, Share, and hanging in There. There are 5 steps in the Dance of Life.
Prayer – 1 Tim. 2:1-3
Someone once said that before we talk to a person about God, we need to talk repeatedly with God about that person. I couldn’t agree more. Praying for people you long to see come to Christ, or come back to him, does two things. First, God mysteriously uses the prayers of his people to participate in drawing people toward him. But somewhat surprisingly there is another benefit, and it is for us. The more I pray for a neighbor, a relative or a friend, the more my own soul is drawn to them. The love of Christ begins to “constrain” us (2 Cor. 5:14), and God places his own love for the person within us. So prayer draws people toward God and draws us toward those people. Another marvelous reality of prayer evangelism is that it can be done anytime, anywhere, for anyone.
Care – Matt. 5:14-16
Another adage that has kept me focused is to remember that in general people don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care. This principle is vital in personal evangelism where a relationship is in the mix. So, with our neighbors, Marie and try to find ways to spend time with them. Time may be the most precious of gifts. It requires us to re-prioritize our lives.
Whenever a need is perceived, we as Christians should be the first to arrive and the last to leave. We are the light of the world because Jesus reigns in us. His love will naturally be displayed in our mortal-ness as we pray and open ourselves to his Spirit fullness. Another way to display Christ’s love, is to allow our friends and neighbors to help us when we have need as well.
When Christians try to be all things to all people they sometimes act like they are perfect. We are not. We have needs too. My neighbor Jim is the first one I call whenever I have an issue in our house. He is a craftsman and we need his help. When my parents died I went to Jim as well in my grief. He lost both his parents years before I did. He helped me process my grief though he is not a Christ-follower, YET.
Prayer and care are the first two steps of the dance. They are easy, and quite honestly, our pre-Christian friends like us for both of those gifts. But when it comes to sharing our faith verbally we enter FEAR land. So the next step in the dance is an attitude that the Spirit will give us as we ask and we all really need it.
Dare – Eph. 6:18-19
We need courage to witness of our faith. Fear is a constant companion of believers. You know it because you probably struggle to open your mouth as well. I’m comforted to know that the Apostle Paul did too. Twice in Ephesians 6, he asks for prayer to share “fearlessly”. Why ask for prayer? Because he too was afraid. I approach all evangelism training with the belief that 100% of the people are afraid. God’s love is the only thing powerful enough to overcome the fear. Ask him for it. Without courage, we won’t open our mouths, and if we don’t open our mouths, people will not be saved, because faith comes by HEARING (Rom. 10:17).
Share – 1 Peter 3:15
God has given us the message of reconciliation and he has given us the compulsion to share it. There is nothing Christians want so badly to do and generally feel they do so badly as verbal witness. But it really can become a life skill that while always requiring faith, starts becoming easier. We train our people to learn to tell their story of how God remade their lives before they tell their friends God’s story. But both are important. We are to always be prepared. Evangelism is a message that we can and must bring to our world. The gospel is the greatest idea in the universe, worthy of sharing.
“hanging in” There – Gal. 6:9
Perseverance is required in the dance of life. Sometimes, people come to faith quite quickly. The Holy Spirit draws them to living faith. Other times, it is months and years.
Never give up.
Each and every person on this planet is loved by God and worth a fortune to him.
Only God understands the mystery of election and response. I leave that to him. But, I seek his strength to never give up. Never, Never, Never.
Prayer, Care, Dare, Share, There (feels like a cha cha to me)