Rach's Reflection: Evangelism is a Scary Word

I was at a Christian festival around the age of 15 when I claimed my faith as my own. I was really excited, and volunteered to go to Torquay High Street with others from the festival to give out hot cross buns to strangers if they would talk with me about why there was a cross on the top of them. If they didn't know the answer to my question I didn't give them the hot cross bun, but I think the point of the activity was meant to be to share the story of Easter with the locals! I got off to a slow start, and learnt along the way that you have to decide not to worry about people ignoring you. 15 year old me was enthused to share my faith with others. I've done that in different ways since then, usually less overtly.

'Evangelism' is one of those scary words, along with 'viva' and 'examination'. It’s the sort of word that even creeps me out in the wrong context! This was especially the case during university when I ended up on the evangelism committee at my Christian Union. Yes, I was one of those people who fliered you to come to a CU 'lunch bar' event, then sat at the back whilst the event was happening pondering whether I even agreed with what was being said. I would have been much happier on the social committee, organising the lovely indoor events for people who were already Christians. 

I now do evangelism differently. My one group of non-Christian friends are at my sign choir. There I’m known as Holy Rach. (As there is more than one Rachel we have to differentiate somehow. This does mean we have an unholy Rachel, but she quite likes that!) They picked up on my faith through the way that I speak, the way I challenge them when they use God’s names in vain, and the fact that I’m never free on a Sunday morning. We were talking the other day about my church, and what is different about Methodism. They cared about how we treated LGBT+ people and people of other minorities, what the singing was like (they are a choir after all), and what goes on with communion. I didn’t talk about who Jesus was so much as I just talked about who I am, and that I believe God is for everyone.

I’m evangelistic about other things too, like split-ticketing and geocaching. Ways to save money and see interesting places, both of which I can normally pull round to a conversation about churches and Christianity. Working for a charity with Christian in the title also really helps!

I wonder how you share who you are and what God has done for you? I’ve got no big life changing testimony, but I do believe that my faith gives me something I don’t get anywhere else, and who am I to keep that to myself!