I am not good at evangelism, which is a shame since it is such a big part of Christianity. But in the last year I have been really convicted by the picture of it we see in the story of the prodigal son story. Here’s how:
In the prodigal son story, the father doesn’t invite the older brother to the party at first when the prodigal comes home. Have you ever noticed that? He doesn’t come right out and say, “Go get the older brother, it’s party time.” This is what he says:
“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate.”
Why doesn’t he? If the party is the ultimate expression of grace and forgiveness and love, why doesn’t the God character in the story invite him there? Better yet, why doesn’t he just force him?
The answer is a little further down the page in Luke 15:
“Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him.
Did you see that? Not only wasn’t the brother invited, he didn’t even know it was going on. But when he heard music and dancing he asked a question. He asked a question because both those activities were out of context. They should not have been happening, they made not sense. And when he asked a question, the father came running out and begged him to come inside.
I like that picture of evangelism. I don’t have to force the people in my life to come to my God party. I just have to dance and live in such a way that they ask questions. And when they do, I will trust that God can answer them. All too often we do it the other way around. We tell people we have a party they would love instead of showing them. And there is a world of difference between those two ideas. I think God wants us to evangelize in a thousand different ways, showing, telling, witnessing, dancing, but this one may be my favorite. Which is why I’ve written about it a few times.
My question to you is, are you dancing enough?