Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. (2 Cor. 5:11)
In the middle of an urban ministry course, there was a knock on the door. My ministerial classmates and I were staying in Buffalo for a May term, which included discussing effective urban evangelism. I answered the door and was given a set of gospel tracts by members of a local church. While we were preparing to persuade others for the Lord, we witnessed this church engaging in a form of persuasion.
Paul engaged in multiple manners of persuasion to convince people of God’s loving truth. Second Corinthians is a letter that underscores the importance of holy living as a form of persuasion. Holy living and persuading others flow naturally from experiencing the love of God. God is the author of holiness, but our lives can persuasively tell God’s story.
Persuasion is not just putting the message out there, it involves ensuring the message is heard. Just as Paul used a variety of methods to persuade the Corinthians, there are a variety of methods that you can use to live persuasively so that the gospel is heard. Persuading others to embrace God and be embraced by God can be anxiety-producing, so find a method that matches your personality. It might also be that God is calling you to grow by stepping outside of your comfort zone. Effective evangelism can take place when preparation meets persuasion.
Prepare and live persuasively so that the gospel is heard.
Scott Donahue-Martens lives outside of Boston. He is on staff at Awaken City Wesleyan Church and is completing a PhD in practical theology.
© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.