Actually Talking about Our Faith

Caitlin HahnCaitlin Hahn is a first year MDiv/MACE student at Union Presbyterian Seminary.

To me, evangelism means showing and telling people about God and God’s remarkable love for us.  For some people, the word evangelism has a negative connotation because, when they imagine evangelism, they imagine rather aggressive and, to some, abrasive acts such as going door-to-door or shouting God’s love from a megaphone.  But when I think about evangelism in my own life, I’m thinking of just talking to my friends about my faith and inviting them to church related things I’m involved in.

Some people think we shouldn’t have to even talk about our faith but rather people will know we believe in something bigger by how we live.  People have told me that if I live out my faith, people will notice something different about me and ask me about it and THEN I will tell them that I act how I act because of God.  But that’s never happened to me.  (Also, one of the kindest, most loving, most amazing people I know does not believe in God, so I’m not so sure people will ACTUALLY know we are Christians by our love like the song says.)

I’m sure it happens like that sometimes, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with actually TALKING about our faith.  I don’t think evangelism should be pushy or express judgment towards those that don’t believe – I believe it should just express what we believe and people can decide for themselves what they think is true.  I think that not judging is the key to evangelism that makes people feel loved rather than attacked.

For people who have grown up exposed to Christianity, it’s easy for us to think that everyone knows about God and Jesus.  I know for me, it was a shocking and very important realization when one of my high school friends didn’t have a clue what communion was or what baptism was.  It’s easy for us to take this knowledge for granted but some people have never even heard these words.  People aren’t born with the knowledge that there’s this God who loves us and died for us but rather people who already know and believe this need to TELL them what we believe.  Then they can take this information and make their own decision about what they believe.  But most importantly, whatever they decide that they believe, we need to love them just the same as we always have.

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