One of the best evangelistic opportunities East of the Mississippi is coming in June 2010! I had some of the best evangelism encounters I'd ever had at this Festival last June. Everyone is saved at Ichthus. (wink, wink.)
If you've never shared the Gospel this will be one of the easiest and most difficult places to share the Gospel that you've ever encountered. Let me explain. Many are Gospel hardened. They've heard it all so many times before that they think they understand when in actuality they have no clue. Others are just there for the bands that will play and are there to listen to predominately a "feel good" message from those who have a mic. The easy part is due to the fact that it's labeled "Christian," most atheists or people that you're afraid you'll encounter aren't going to be there. It makes it a lot easier to begin a conversation about Jesus at a venue marketed as Christian.
If you live anywhere near Wilmore, Kentucky (15 minutes South of Nicholasville) consider going and sharing the Gospel. I had some of the most sincere but profoundly ignorant people suddenly go silent as they realized that they had NEVER heard the Gospel before. One young man believed that because he was part of his youth group that he was saved. Seriously.
I'm sure there are people that are true converts, but from handing out 600 tracts and having one-on-one conversations with 30 people in 4 hours I discovered that after I asked, "So, if I had a knife in my back and 2 minutes to live and wanted to go to heaven, what would you tell me? What must I do to be saved?" Many just stared and then you heard crickets begin to chirp in the background. Even after gentle prompting they still couldn't articulate the Gospel message on even a basic level. I ran into only ONE young man who not only could articulate the basics, but claimed to have read his Bible regularly and seemed to understand. I was so saddened. There were approximately 10,000 people there that week-end.
The ones I did share the Gospel with were sincerely appreciative. Not one person got angry or offended. Yes, the Gospel is an offense to our status quo way of living, but when presented Biblically, it is the best news ever and is received with joy when God has prepared the heart to receive.
Here's an idea if you're looking to get your feet wet sharing the Gospel. Look for Christian music festivals, outdoor concerts, amusement parks hosting Christian musicians this summer. Remember, they probably aren't going to be hostile to the Gospel because it's a Christian venue. Buy a ticket and plan on attending. Pray that your heart will be right, prepare to walk in obedience and share the Gospel biblically with those you encounter, grab your tracts and go!
Here are some tips that were helpful for me when sharing in a venue that is labeled "Christian." You might ask them, "If I had 2 minutes to live what would you tell me I must do to be saved?" If they say, "Accept Jesus and believe." Prod further and see if they have actually done that. It's a good springboard to explain repentance and walking in obedience. If they say they are pretty good, take them through the "Good Person Test." Encourage them to read all of 1 John to see if they are producing fruit. Explain that being an active member in the youth group won't save them.
Another question that was really successful was, "When was the last time you read your Bible?" Everyone of them except one young man either couldn't remember, or it had been weeks, and one person didn't even know where their Bible was!
One thing I noticed when taking young people (uh, let me define young as anyone under 23)through the Good Person Test was many of them answered, "No," when asked if they had stolen anything (breaking the 8th commandment). Yet, if you asked them, "Have you ever downloaded music or a movie from the Internet illegally?" their heads dropped and they said, "Yes." Many people, even young ones want to justify their actions by believing since they didn't commit a bank heist then they haven't stolen.
The two most popular tracts were the "Curved Illusion" tract and the "Celebrity Teen Million Dollar Bill" tract. Take plenty of them because they ask for more! Goto my links on the right side of the page under "tracts" to purchase some of your own.
To see hi lights from last year's experience:
Click on "July 2009" to view the five part series on my experience at Ichthus 2009 which better demonstrates just a very small sampling of what you may encounter.
I encourage you to take time during vacations this summer to make a deliberate effort to share the Gospel.