I don’t know about you, but I have always struggled with evangelism. It’s not that I don’t know what to say, because I know the truth: All have sinned and are in need of provision before a Holy God, and the death of Jesus paid the price for sin and provided the provision.
The content, for me, is the easy part. I just haven’t known how to get to the place where a poignant conversation about Jesus can be had.
It wasn’t until I met one of our elders at The Village that I found a relational evangelism which I could emulate. If you ask this elder about evangelism, he will tell you that flowers and a great looking yard are missional.
You see, I live in the suburbs where everybody wants the new car, the big house and the curb appeal. There are no mountains to see, just front yards within neighborhoods. But what we do with these blank canvases is important.
When my family moved to Highland Village, we bought a house on the corner that was notorious for its neglected flower beds and yard. With a few books on landscaping and some encouragement from my elder, though, my family and I made our yard pleasing to the neighbors. Within a single season, we had dozens of neighbors stopping by and talking about how thankful they were for our efforts.
Often I would be asked, “What gets you into your yard?” I would respond saying, “I want to love and serve my neighbors by how my house looks.” They would regularly look at me with confusion and ask further questions.
If my purpose is to love and serve my neighbors for God’s glory, I would not be doing that if I didn’t share with them the hope of the world. I have been able to share the gospel with nearly every neighbor who has stopped by. It has become a strategy for our home.
But before you get up from the computer and go buy flowers and a book on how to plant, please know that my hope is not that you would copy my strategy. My hope is that you would adapt it. I watched my elder and adapted a similar strategy to his but one that was unique for my family.
This year we moved, and our strategy is changing once again. There is not as much emphasis on the yard but, rather, our presence in the yard. You see, the goal is not the use of a strategy. The goal is to share the hope of Jesus.
How are you reaching your neighbors with service and love?
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:38-39