When we initiate spiritual conversations, we need to do it in the power of the Holy Spirit. God prepares the hearts of others, and it is because of him that anything happens. Whether we are taking the initiative with friends we have known for years, starting a conversation with someone in our neighborhood that we have never talked to before, or approaching a complete stranger; we can expect that things won’t go as well if we are doing it on our own strength.
When Paul was sharing with the Corinthians (1 Cor 2:1-5) in Greece, which is a place known for intellect, philosophy, and the quest for knowledge, he spoke simply and avoided trying to come across as superior. What he said was focused on Jesus. He, like us, felt weak and fearful. These are legit emotions in a fallen world in which some are hostile to the message of the gospel. His ministry was dependent on the power of God, not on his own words to change hearts and lives. We need to keep this in mind as we seek to reach out to others. As my friend Jim mentioned a few days ago, we don’t have to have all the answers, we just need to focus on the simple truth of the gospel as we have genuine conversations with those around us.
Initiative Evangelism isn’t a one-time event. Sometimes it is the initiation of a new relationship, or less commonly, it is the start of a conversation that others will follow up on. Other times it is taking the initiative to bring the truth of God’s Story into our current relationships. So, just as 3Story Evangelism is a way of life, Initiative Evangelism is part of a lifestyle as well. 3Story helps us continually interact with those around us that we know, as we likewise interact with our faith. It helps us merge those two areas of our life together. The idea of Initiative Evangelism compliments this by encouraging us to always be engaging others in conversations about Jesus as the Holy Spirit leads us, and it helps give us an idea of how we can engage in conversation with others. Everything that Jeremy has talked about regarding 3Story Evangelism is a good launching point from which we can then move toward engaging new people in spiritual conversations as well, as we get to know them.