Friday, March 28, 2014

Seven Reasons You are a Better Evangelist than Your Pastor

I suppose that most people feel that their pastor is far more equipped to share the gospel with unbelievers than they are. Honestly, I'm not so sure. Since I was asked to speak on this very topic recently, here are at least seven reasons that you are probably a better witness than your friendly neighborhood clergyman.

1. ‘Show Me the Money’: Like it or not, people often see the worst motives in others, even pastors and ministers. Some people think pastors are “hucksters” and “salesman” looking to push their product, raise money, and pass the plate!  Enough examples of public leadership failures exist to confirm those negative suspicions. You however are unpaid and therefore a much more credible witness.

2. The ‘Scary Black Robe’ Factor: Stereotypes often win out. Many unbelievers think of pastors as strange, alien people—something like Jedi Knights from Star Wars. The robe and clerical collar don’t help much. For this reason pastors are often perceived as unapproachable, mysterious, and even intimidating. You however are a "normal" person. (Well, most of you anyway).

3. The ‘Dilbert’ Dynamic: Because pastors spend most of their time crafting sermons in the study, working in the church, planning meetings, fellowshipping among believers, or visiting hospitals, ministers simply do not have as many “contacts” with unbelievers in the workplace. You however live as a missionary in the cubicle and know dozens of unbelievers personally. 

4. Jargon: Your pastor is a trained theologian and probably can’t help but think in theological constructs, even when he tries to resist it. Put him in a room with an unbeliever for more than five minutes, and a lecture on “Views of the Doctrine of Justification at the Time of the Reformation” is likely to break out. You however can speak from the heart because you can communicate very well without the hindrance of technical terminology.

5. Life Change: Before your pastor joined your church, he likely came from one of two places: the seminary (How weird does that sound to the unbeliever! Might as well be Mars!) or else a previous church. You however have people in your life that have seen the change in you since you came to faith in Jesus Christ, and are therefore viewed as an authentic living testimony of grace.

6. The Umbrella Affect: Whenever a pastor starts talking, many people automatically put up a “sermon umbrella” and brace themselves. They think to themselves, “Oh boy, here comes something religious. Maybe I can remain inert long enough for him to think I’m dead, and he’ll just go away.” His words roll off the unbeliever’s protective umbrella and fall harmlessly to the floor. You however have the potential of uttering something truly unexpected and therefore refreshing and invigorating to their dry soul.

7. The Bubble Boy: Your pastor probably feels a lot of pressure to make others think that he and his family are as close to perfect as possible. (I know I put a lot of that pressure on myself). Even though that “angelic aura” is obviously false, sometimes pastors do a pretty good job of convincing others that they are hyper-spiritual people who just came down from Mt. Sinai. You however can live free of pressures of perfection. In so doing, you can show unbelievers that Christians have real problems, real struggles, real difficulties—and real hope in Jesus Christ. 

So, my friends, go share your faith! You are probably far more effective than you think. 

--Matthew Everhard is the Senior Pastor of Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Brooksville Florida. 

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