Permission Evangelism – When to Talk – When to Walk by Michael Simpson has made a dramatic impact on my view of reaching out to the world.
In the Introduction the transformation begins:
“How do you know when to talk and when to walk? The answer is in permission. If someone asks then you can speak without fear you will be rejected.”
The book is easy to read and hits home but doesn’t offend. It has really resonated with me, and my experience as a Christian.
Nuggets I gleaned
Christians aren’t always changed, attractive to the world, offering anything. I need to be the loving light of God in all my situations. Relationship in the world is where pre-believers will see God’s love, because they are not likely to come to Church.
Understanding the Pre-believer – Many are seeking purpose, meaning and personal value; however, they either don’t know to look to Church or have negative experiences relating to going to Church.
Jesus’s methods – He didn’t randomly approach people to tell them the Good News or to heal them. In many cases they called out to Him. They were already interested in what Jesus had to offer and had a measure of faith. We can be in relationship, share our stories and have people reach out to us to know more about Jesus.
Our Testimony – Too often our testimony is 90% about our past and only 10% about the present. Our testimony needs to be short about where we were before Christ, share the process, then be long on the impact Jesus made on our life and the continuing impact on our life.
Being in the World – Most adults that become Christians are evangelistic for a couple of years after they accept Christ; however, after a couple of years they have changed, and only associate with Christians. If we don’t live in the world, there is no one to share our faith with. We become immersed in Christian events, and culture at the expense of having relationships with those in need.
I think the most impact on me from reading the book is providing context for some of my feelings. I have struggled to share my faith. I felt bad that I didn’t always preach to friends, coworkers, or anyone I meet. I have a better understanding of my role as a Christian (in being a light in the world), being in relationship to be asked to tell my story and following God’s timing to speak of salvation.
I am already looking forward to reading this book again.