So I was going to make a sombre post about how evang last Friday downtown wasn’t fun At. All. to try and show that it’s not always encouraging, and I’m not always motivated to do it. I had a bad attitude from the start, I was grumpy cuz we weren’t in our usual spot, and I had to listen to a busker play the same rhythms over and over again on his Hello Kitty child-size drumset (no I’m not joking, he was a full grown man. But I will give him props for having a double bass pedal on that lil kit) for TWO hours. Which also meant that no one could preach cuz he was there first. Plus there wasn’t much foot traffic.
I managed to get going in a convo w a spiritual/new age girl who was raised Methodist, and just as it started rolling along, two men interrupted who were handing out tracts with good intentions to say hi. But she took off after that. So I kept handing out tracts, pouting, and eventually sat down and started reading emails which also made me mad. We took a coffee break for an hour or so, and when two drunk people above us started leaning over the rail looking like they were gonna ralph on us below deck, that was our cue to get back out there.
As soon as we walked up the stairs, my whole night changed when we met N. We being Steve, me, our friend Chuck and Beanie. I have no idea how we even started chatting. Steve says the evangapup attracted him.
N was laid back, had a Catholic upbringing, and was just visiting Greenville on his first night. Small talk turned into discussion about his religious background naturally cuz I intentionally started asking about it. Cue interruption one as some chic burst through the middle so she could pet Beanie. This is one of Satan’s favorite tactics btw: to interrupt a gospel convo right at the beginning, or when you are just about to transition from the bad news to good. Often times the convo will end, but not if God has anything to do with it (which he does). God wanted N to hear the whole of his gospel truth, so he kept N there undeterred by it.
As we were getting deeper into that discussion his body language almost immediately changed. He started looking around, shifting from foot to foot, and doing full squats to stretch his legs that Chuck got jealous over. His impression of God was just that we do our best to serve him and that’s good enough. He didn’t like the fact that we had to think of ourselves as sinful and go on a “guilt trip”. All three of us were contributing to the convo as we gently challenged that and explained about sin, judgement and God’s free gift of grace, and his motivation of love behind it—in addition to discussing Catholic distinctives.
It was an awe-mazing end to what started out as a not-so-encouraging/bad attitude sort of night.
As a former confirmed Catholic these are my FAVORITE convos to have. I’ve been where they are, felt what they felt, and LOVE giving them a clear presentation of the gospel they most likely have not heard before. I think the second most important point is talking about how once saved the Triune God becomes personal, as the Catholic god is very impersonal and distant. The Father chooses us, Christ dies for us, the Holy Spirit indwells us, THEN the good works come out of a heart of love and service towards God—not for our salvation but as a result of our salvation.
Somewhere in the middle of that N’s countenance totally changed, and he said, “Do you have any materials on this?” So I gave him a gospel tract and a booklet that goes over the basics in a little more detail than a tract.
Then he started asking good questions and the like. Just before we parted Chuck asked if he needed prayer about anything. Then interruption no 2 came as drunks suddenly surrounded us and sat on the ground next to Beanie. Obviously next to the full gospel being shared satan hates prayer. But God was not deterred. (Anytime you want to see spiritual warfare firsthand just share the gospel fyi). After a few minutes we were able to pray and parted ways. It was an awe-mazing end to what started out as a not-so-encouraging/bad attitude sort of night. God never ceases to amaze me, and you can etch that on my gravestone.
Also please pray for N. I don’t want to reveal his name on this public platform, but God will know exactly who you’re talking about. Particularly for his salvation and that God wouldn’t let the gospel seeds be snatched away by the world, the devil and the flesh. Thanks be to God Almighty. Amen.