The deeper one gets to the heart of evangelism, the less intimidating it is to talk to people about the Gospel. My mechanic has quite a presence. Ok, he is huge. At six and a half feet tall, he just does not quite come across as a teddy bear. But he does like to talk.
So as he ranted about politics and the economy, I could tell he is a thinker. I used this as the lead in, “It is obvious that you think through things. So what do you think happens after we die?” It turns out he is a non-practicing Catholic with a lot of new age philosophy in the mix. He talked about his concept of old souls and his personal experience with memories from a time past. Everything was very general because if he were to get too specific, he knows it would not make sense.
So I asked him the question I now like to ask Catholics. I draw on whatever language they have used and form it into a question. “So Catholics believe in the Scriptures plus the Apocrypha. If you believe that those who do well in this life get a straight pass to heaven and those that do not do well get a second chance in purgatory, then why did Jesus come to die?”
He responded with a casual “to pay for our sins” said with a degree of hesitancy that tells me he does not really believe that. “That’s a good question though,” he said in a pondering tone. He followed up with questioning Scripture saying that He does not believe it is all true. Ultimately, he demonstrated to me just how confused he is. He is a big talker and did not let me get too many words in, but I do think he was encouraged to examine his own beliefs. I made sure to mention the reality of hell and the importance of being sure we have found the truth.
Talking to my mechanic was a reminder to me how there is no one-size-fits-all approach to sharing the Gospel. There are methods that work a lot of the time in a street evangelism setting. But ultimately, sharing the Gospel is an art. And as with any art, we will only get better with practice.