I came across this quote from Michael Frost, author of The Road to Missional: Journey to the Center of the Church:
“When we understand what it is to be truly missional – incarnated deeply within a local host community – we will find that evangelism is best done slowly, deliberately, in the context of a loving community. It takes time and multiple engagements.”
Frost notes that one thing that makes us shy away from evangelism is that we think we have to share the whole gospel with people in one encounter. Sharing the gospel slowly, gradually over time in a relationship allows the deep beauty and breadth of the good news to be expressed.
Frost adds that people who don’t know Jesus yet need to experience hospitality and see how we embody the gospel in the life of our community. They need to see how we practice love in our communal setting.
One thing that Frost is getting at is that evangelism includes all the small, thoughtful things that we faithfully do over a long period of time. May Christ open our eyes to the opportunities that come our way to do these small things in his name. May Christ help us build new friendships even as we cherish the old. And may Christ’s love fill us all!