I sometimes stop to read books on leadership, and I found something interesting in one of John Maxwell's books. Well, I think it was John Maxwell and it went something like this.
When you are dealing with people, you have four possible outcomes to every situation.
1. You win and I lose.
2. I win and you lose.
3. You lose and I lose.
4. You win and I win.
This is something I wish I had been told when I was younger. I would like to take some time to apply this to how we do the work of an evangelist. Doing the work of an evangelist involves building a long term relationship with someone.
This is something that many of us find hard to do. There are a lot of Christians today who grew up in emotionally unhealthy environments and bring the emotionally unhealthy habits we learned into how we approach people with the Gospel message.So let me show you this works out.
1. The You win and I lose scenario.
The You win and I lose scenario ends with me not emphasizing how important Jesus Christ is. I lose a chance to share the Gospel because your religious point of view overwhelms mine and a proper explanation of Jesus Christ is not given.
2. The I win and you lose scenario.
The I win and you lose scenario ends with me insulting you because you do not understand how important Jesus Christ is. My attempts to share the Gospel insult you, humiliate you and ignore all of your thoughts and feelings.
3. The You lose and I lose scenario.
The You lose and I lose scenario ends with both of us being angry because we disagree on who Jesus Christ is and what Jesus Christ did for us. We are both displaying a lack of character in how we handle the Gospel message.
4. The You win and I win scenario.
The You win and I win scenario ends with both of us showing love to each other. We have a long term relationship that can endure misunderstanding and disagreement(s). This scenario allows me to endure being mistreated over what I think the answers to your problems are because I do not think of you as an enemy.
So let me be clear on this: in order to share the Gospel correctly, there does come a time when you have to tell people they are blind, deaf and living in denial. The question is when you are done sharing the Gospel, do they think you really care?
For a very long time, the non-Christians closest to the Church in the past have answered by saying "No" and when you want to talk to non-Christian people, you need to make room in your strategies for all of the bad things that made them think that way.
Just keep that in mind next time.