The Apostle Paul was very strategic as the Holy Spirit led him on his missionary journeys. He was wise and sensitive to his audience as he traveled from the provinces into the cultural and trade centers of the Roman Empire.
Paul and Silas had to flee from Thessalonica where some Jews and a great many devout Greeks became followers with them. Thankfully, Thessalonica grew to be a powerhouse for the gospel in that part of the world (I Thess. 1:8). If we desire to experience mass evangelism today, we also can’t rely on just a couple of spiritual leaders to win our part of Texas.
Traveling by night, Paul and Silas reached Berea (50 miles southwest) and went into the Jewish synagogue. This was where Paul would normally begin his evangelistic outreach as he entered each new town. This makes sense because he had much in common with his fellow Jews. Paul would argue from the Hebrew Scriptures that Jesus was the promised Messiah. Looking for groups of people who have similar interests with us is a great way to evangelize!
Over twenty years ago my family and I moved to Michigan. As my children grew up playing a variety of sports, this was the common ground we used the most to plant the seeds of the gospel. Eventually, our church started a community center and used it as an evangelistic tool to impact many people for the Lord!
In 2013 we moved to the big city of Granbury! Now that my children are all adults, the Lord has creatively allowed me to find common interest with other in this town in a surprising way. Because of my competitive design, the Lord has transferred my athletic drive to finding good deals when I go shopping. Yes, I know guys aren’t supposed to shop! Before Granbury, I never thought of going to garage or estate sales. But believe it or not, this is the primary way I evangelize almost every weekend I’m in town. Texas has far better weather for this type of ministry, so I’m sure it wouldn’t have been nearly as successful in Michigan. Our Father’s plans have perfect timing! Nobody wants to welcome you onto their property more than garage sale families desperate for you to buy their stuff! This is much easier than going door to door knocking on front doors! Sad to say, I used to knock on front doors and hoped that nobody would answer!
Paul found common ground in synagogues. I’ve used sports and now garage sales to evangelize. And who knows, maybe God has another interesting way for me to evangelize Granbury. How about you?
What giftedness or desires do you have that can be used to find common ground for outreach opportunities?
How well are you studying your Bible in order to accurately defend the faith?
How has God used past experiences to prepare you for future evangelism?
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