Carol was a persuasive woman. Her first hand accounts of her visits overseas were stunningly and attractively descriptive. When she spoke to Jake about her adventures it captured his imagination. On cold winter days he could feel the warmth of the sand on his back as she spoke. “Why don’t you go?” Carol challenged. She was a born persuader. “You’ll never regret it.” Jake stammered an answer that didn’t even convince him. He had reservations but wasn’t sure he knew how to articulate them. “I don’t know” he said. Carol’s disappointment was crushing. The truth is Jake liked Carol and hated to be the cause of her pain. “Come on” coaxed Carol, “all you need to do is make a decision.” “Okay.” Jake conceded, “I’ll do it. I’ll go over seas. I’ve made my decision.” Carol was ecstatic. She jumped up and down barely able to contain her excitement. That night when they were with a group a friends Carol urged Jake to announce his decision. “Go ahead,” she prompted “tell people what you decided.” Reluctantly Jake told the group “I’m going to go overseas.” Some of the people were obviously shocked, others were almost as excited as Carol and many people congratulated him.
Time passed and Carol’s visits slowly diminished. She was always out with other’s telling them about her experiences and adventures overseas, trying to convince them to make a decision to go. Jake signed out some books on exotic destinations and even inquired about prices. But the cost was more than he thought and it would have taken some great sacrifices to make the trip a reality. To anyone who watched it was readily apparent that Jake’s decision to go overseas had no implications for how he lived. He had no plan for saving money to go, no destination in mind. And if he was honest he had no real interest in going. He was pretty sure that he’d like it when he got there but there was still some reservation. To be honest Jake’s decision had become nothing more than a concession to please his friend.
If Jake’s decision was to translate into action he would have needed to have a travelling companion; someone who had travelled before and knew the ropes. He needed a friend who would have helped to get the location, set the dates, dream about the up-coming trip and share the memories with him. A person whose own excitement was contagious for those times when Jake had doubts and who convince Jake that the sacrifices required to save money would be worth it once they were there.
The reality is that decisions need follow up and people on journeys need companions to go with them. We have for many years understood evangelism as a call to decision rather than plan to journey. The results of our decision getting efforts have been scores of people claiming to have made a decision for Christ but not having made any real changes as a result of that decision.
What if the evangelist was not just persuasive in getting decisions but faithful in walking out the journey? Evangelism is changing. A new kind of evangelism requires a new kind of evangelist. The Equipping Evangelists are as committed as ever to seeing this new kind of evangelist working throughout our nation. If you know someone who you think should be connected with us why not pass on this article to them.