There was billboard in which a slogan was written: “Jesus is the Answer.” Someone wrote a graffiti: “What is the question?” Evangelism is a spiritual task, an art, a scientific communication, a transforming truth that touches the hearts and minds of people. Gospel should be presented to help people to be attracted to Christ and end up in adoring Lord.
Paul preaching in Athens among the philosophers and intellectuals is a great instructive model.
1) Appreciate people: Paul begins appreciating the people of Athens. He was not harsh calling them as ‘sinners’ or ‘brood of vipers.’ Sharing gospel with loving attitude is essential. Paul exhorts us to speak truth in love. (Ephesians 4:15)
2) Affirm religious quest: Paul affirmed the religious quest of his audience. (Acts 17:22) All human beings have an eternal quest, however in some it is very expressive, while it is dormant in others.
3) Acknowledge their wisdom: Paul quoted one of their own poets. (Acts 17:28) By doing so, he respected their literature, culture, intellectual prowess and spiritual quest.
4) Approach strategy: Paul shared that he went around to understand their religion and observed their objects of worship. Paul expressed that he was willing to learn about them before proclaiming to them. He drew their attention towards an inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ (Acts 17:23) Paul found a bridge or redemption analogy to present the gospel. Paul proclaims the God they were ignorantly worshipping.
5) Appeal: Paul appeals to them to repent. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30- 31)
Paul’s speech convicted Dionysius and Damaris and few others became disciples of Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 17:33)
Do I lovingly share the gospel with others?