Every weekday in Japan, we did "campus ministry." We went to two college campuses between 11:30-3pm, during students' lunch breaks, and tried to connect with as many students as possible - inviting them to J-House (the church) or scheduling lunch dates. Everyone had their own strategy or approach, but the goal to introduce them to Jesus and share His love was all the same!
Towards the end of the trip, I was getting to know this girl, E*, pretty well. It was my fifth or sixth time meeting with her, and I considered her one of the closer friends I had made in Japan. One day, I was trying to tell her how my team celebrated a team member's birthday by making mochi cake. I assumed mochi cake was a Japanese dessert, but she had never heard of it before! I tried to explain to her what it looked like, what it tasted like... And I was getting really excited because I believed the cake to be SO good. I remember thinking, "I probably sound like a crazy fatty right now, but I don't even care cause once she tastes how good this mochi cake is, she'll understand, too."
I met with her again the following day, and the VERY first thing she said to me was: "Jenny! I was so tired when I came home from school last night, but I was so curious about this mochi cake that you described, that I looked it up myself online and want to make it soon." And I don't know why it clicked all then, but in that moment I was just so rebuked. Because my enthusiasm and confidence was so evident when I shared with her about dessert, but I wondered if that same joy came across when I shared about Jesus. When I shared the gospel with her, I remember trying to water down the truth and make it more digestible and relatable to her. There was less conviction.
I wondered if I shared the gospel with that same enthusiasm and joy, if instead she would have returned and said, "Jenny, I was so tired when I came home from school last night, but I was so curious about who this Jesus was, that I went home and prayed and read my bible last night."
I think that moment was a huge reality check for me. Forcing me to re-evaluate how much I believed Jesus to be my one and only joy... Re-evaluate my convictions behind evangelism, and I wanted it to be different. I didn't want to talk about the gospel with such worry or timidness or sales-pitch. I wanted to be bold and excited. To speak with real conviction and vulnerability. Knowing that if, they, too, just tasted Jesus, they would understand what the crazy was all about.
Related: How Your Daily Decisions Can Help Your Faith Grow
Praying that I will first taste Jesus daily and out of the overflow of that goodness, share it with everyone with excitement and joy. :)
"Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him." Psalm 34:8
What about you? What do you think about evangelism and do you have any stories from your experiences?