August 15, 2012

The Reluctant Evangelist - Tracy Krauss

I am not an evangelist. Oh, I know - we're all supposed to be witnessing to others and sharing our faith, but I am not the kind of person to blatantly go up to someone and say, "You need Jesus!" I know people like this and it often works for them. Even if it doesn't, they just seem to have this inner need to 'tell the world'. They are evangelists. 

I guess this is what Paul was talking about when he said there are many spiritual gifts. Not everyone is comfortable in that evangelistic role, just as not everyone is comfortable as a teacher, apostle, prophet ... 

I'm a teacher by profession, from a long line of teachers (four generations) so I know how to do this. And, frankly, I'm good at it. I'm also a story-teller, which is a branch of teaching. (I'm basing this very simplistic categorization on Jesus' example. He told parables and was often called 'Teacher'. Smile.)

For me this is a much more effective way of sharing my faith. The obvious example is through my writing. So far, all of my novels have a strong redemptive theme. On a more personal level, however, I am much more prone to what was once called 'friendship evangelism', where you just make friends with people and then, during your day to day contact with them, they see your life an an example of Christ. You might even get the chance to 'tell your own story', or testimony, although I try not to contrive opportunities for this. 

Some might consider this a cop-out, but that's okay. I used to beat myself up about it because I felt like I wasn't doing my job to fulfill the great commission. Especially when I'd hear a sermon or a TV evangelist asking, "How many souls have YOU led to Christ?" Talk about a guilt trip. Now, I don't try to measure my success as a believer in how many people I have personally prayed with or led to the Lord. If someone wants to talk about faith, religion, or related topics, I am more than willing. If someone asks me for advice, I'll give it and maybe ask them if they'd like to pray. Usually, people say, "Yes." 

I often feel uncomfortable around 'in your face' Christians. (And I'm a pastor' s wife!)  However, I know lots of people who have come to Jesus as a result of the 'hard sell'. I don't mean to sound condescending when I describe it this way, because that's not my intent. People have come to Christ through TV, radio, camp meetings, waking up in a jail cell, in a hospital, from a door-to-door visit ... The list is endless, because the variety of people in this world is endless and God knows that in order to reach them, He must use a variety of methods. What works for some will turn off others and vice-versa. 

Which brings me back to my point. Even though I don't consider myself very good evangelist material, I'm still presenting the gospel in my own way. So I suppose, when all is said and done, even we 'non-evangelistic' types are actually fulfilling the great commission.


  1. "What you said, Tracy." I can identify so clearly with what your blog. I don't think people like us are cop-outs. I live by faith. I write because I have to write, but many of the things I write our indicative of my faith.

    Writing isn't just about the money. I am not getting rich at this, but people have let me know they value what I am writing for the stand I make.

    I will have to start reading your novels.

  2. Thanks for your comment Sharon. It was a great day when I decided it was okay to be me, even if I wasn't keeping a tally of 'converts'. I've had people tell me later how something I said, did, or wrote has blessed them. God uses each of us in His way.

  3. I think many of us are not the type to go up to every stranger and share the gospel.
    I also relate to the guilt trip that has been the topic of more than one sermon. While it is true that we need to spread the gospel, it is by our fruits that we are known.(Matthew 7) and those fruits are listed in Galatians. We cannot change anyone--that's God's to do. We can only be obedient and share our lives in a way honoring to Christ.

  4. I can relate to this, Tracy. Thanks for sharing!
    Pam M.

  5. I tend to find the in your face approach to be rather a turn off.


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