It Is What I Live To Do
I have been evangelizing now for over fifteen years, and I can remember in the beginning, I worried whether I was reaching anyone. I can remember going home after a ministry trip feeling as though I had accomplished nothing. Mainly, because maybe the room was filled with people but only one or two came to Christ. As I look back now, I understand that God was trying to help me develop humility. It’s so easy to get caught up in the “I” syndrome or the “Me” fantasy. This is where we start to buy into our gospel fame. We start acting as though we do not need the same grace we are trying to administer to others, and that we are above those who fall. Well, God showed me this call and gift to evangelize was never about me, and will never be about me. Romans 12:3 have become my grounding scripture…“For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one.”
Paul Trip wrote, You must think of yourself not only as an instrument of the work but also as a recipient. Your work as an instrument does not cancel out your identify as a recipient, and your identity as a recipient doesn’t weaken your work as an instrument. You and I must never approach grace only as instruments of that grace in the lives of others; we must also remember that there is no grace that we offer to others that we don’t at once need ourselves” (Trip, 2012).
I read during the first week of class how God desires relationship, restoration, and reconciliation with people. The author stated, God desires to establish a redemptive relationship with all of humankind and that the Bible refers to the people of God as family, friends, and a community of faith. It was not new to me how God refers to us, but what struck me is that I am as much of a participant as the next person when I understand that God needs me to be His hands on the earth, pointing people in His direction through Evangelism. The readings have challenged me to be intentional.
No Place Is Off Limits
The grocery store, department stores, shoe stores, are already some of the places I will speak to people and then use every opportunity to do what I call my two w’s…witness or win. I take every opportunity to witness to someone about what God has done for me or to win someone to Christ. As I have been in this class, I found myself asking, where the one place is you never witness or try to win and I discovered it is in restaurants. When I’m in them, I’m either socializing or relaxing and considering my time there as a break from my job, but I’m now challenging myself to remember the person whose life may be caught in the balance while I eat food that I cannot live off of alone.
Evangelism Into Every Part of My Life
Knowing this, I have decided that even in the restaurants, I should be looking for any open door, or available opportunity to share Jesus with someone who may be in need. When you have become a part of the community of Christ that people can depend on, they have no problem calling you whenever they feel the need. So, when I get an opportunity to steal away for a moment, I do that and I basically try to hid. This means, if someone do not know who I am or what I do, I keep my mouth closed. It’s so funny even that I’m writing this. I must do better with getting the rest that I need so that I can be of service to others and I won’t hide behind eating or in restaurants as if my job as a disciple doesn’t extend there as well.
I Must Be Intentional
I also realize that unless I set out to intentionally win souls, it becomes something that I only do on Sundays. As I prepared to write this paper, I went about my activities, adding some extras as pastors are known to do. Usually, my husband does all of the funeral home visits with families, as we have come to realize it’s not something I like doing, and I do all the children birthday parties and baby showers.
I was at one of the many birthday parties I attend during the years and it just happened to be at a local church’s pavilion area. Now, I am not always walking around in clergy, neither do I hand out business cards everywhere I go, but because I am a pastor and do a lot in the community, people know me but Saturday was different. I was in this field helping our member put balloons out and up comes a gentlemen. He never spoke, he was so rude, and he asked the lady who I was assisting a question that should have been directed to the young lady hosting the event. I first thought, “This surely cannot be the pastor of this church.” One, because if he was, I could see why he did not have many members; his personality was awful and his people skills were horrible.
All I could think was, “Danyelle, you must be mindful wherever you are that there just may be a soul in need of your Lord, and your attitude could very well detour them or draw them.” This caused me to think over how I approach people I know as well as those I don’t know. I realized that I needed to always whether intentional or unintentional represent the God of love who I am trying to share with others.
After the pastor walked back into the building, someone asked him did he meet Pastor Danyelle. He came back out with his hand extended and I almost felt like saying, “If I were a soul, you would have lost me.” I realized also that sometimes we as pastors can get so caught up in ourselves: how we are feeling at that moment, how we are thinking at that moment, or simply how we do not want to do anything. We lose people who are already spiritually dead and are using the way people act or fall as an excuse to stay blind; people who use our actions as part of their excuse to not embrace Christ. I am making it a point to always find myself doing unto others, as I desire for them to do unto me.
My Family Already Affected
My family often talks about how I never meet a stranger or how I’m always witnessing to someone and they have come to accept that it’s just me. Nevertheless, none of our children want to go anywhere with me or my husband. My children think that people never respect that we have a family outside of the church and I understand how they feel. It has never been a time when we have taken them somewhere and we don’t end up counseling someone we know, or spending a moment with someone we don’t know.
When they were younger the joke was they would ask when we were ready to leave the house, “Is this a family trip or a family evangelistic outing?” We would always of course say, “It’s a family trip, but we all are a part of God’s family.” We knew if we ran into someone who needed us, or someone whom we felt needed a Word, we were going to do just that.
How My Life Now Affects My Family
Now, these same children who were so upset and sometimes angry, are not evangelizing via their social media platforms and doing just as they have watched us do for years…evangelize. They are each growing in their spiritual gifts and I’m learning not to push them but to sit back and see where God is leading them.
The greatest reward God could have given me was a husband who allows me to walk and work on this Christian journey side by side with him. He is my partner and together we work for the Kingdom as kingdom ambassadors for Christ.
My Role in The Church
I am presently serving as the pastor elect for my husband’s second church, New Vessels Ministries North. It has been such a honor and with all of the platforms to witness, invite, and present the ministry to the unchurched, growing has been easy. We are not just inviting people to church nor is that our main priority; we are inviting people to Jesus. One by one, we are sharing our love for God to those who may not know Christ as we have come to know Him.
I enjoy what I do and I would not care to do anything else in this world. Sometimes this work can be so heart-pulling, and sometimes it can be so rewarding (even on earth). Whether it causes me to suffer or causes me to be happy by the results of either my watering or planting, I am not moved by either. I am determined to do all that I can do while I can do it, and whether it is with my mouth or with my fingers in a book, it is my desire to introduce Jesus Christ to those who have not been introduced to Him before.
Tripp, Paul D. (2012. Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral
Will McRaney Jr. The Art of Personal Evangelism.
 Tripp, Paul D. (2012. Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry
 Will McRaney Jr. The Art of Personal Evangelism.
 See Matthew 4:4
 Matthew 7:12