We live in a world driven by instant gratification. Today's society doesn’t know the importance of patience. Traffic, the cashiers at Wal-Mart, and other various aspects of everyday life frustrate us because they don’t move fast enough. We want what we want and we want it NOW! There's no time to just stop and simply enjoy the world around us.
The same can be said about a lot Christians. We expect our lost friends and family members to instantaneously agree to come to church with us when we invite them. When they do, we expect them to be completely be transformed by the words of the preacher, but we become frustrated whenever they continue living the same lifestyle after the service. We might think, “The worship team played the best songs and Pastor's sermon was clear. How could they not have been changed?” We then write them off, thinking that they are too far gone for us to deal with. So what’s the key to introducing your friends to the life changing power of Christ? Start with relationship-building conversations.
What we need to realize is that evangelism is changing and our methods need to change as well. We live in an age where the Church is not as influential as it has been in generations past. It doesn’t mean that the church is unnecessary; it just means that the current generation is seeking relationships rather than institutions.
Here in the “Bible Belt” it is very easy to assume that everyone believes in the same God. We also mistakenly believe that if we just simply live our lives as good citizens that all of our lost friends will come to know Jesus. That way of thinking is simply unbiblical. The Apostle Paul makes it clear in Romans 10 that we must speak with our mouths in order to adequately share the Gospel, “For everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved. But how can they call on Him to save them unless they believe in Him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them?”
Revivals and other church events are important but we cannot simply expect the lost to be transformed by those means alone. We have to be looking for opportunities to have conversations about what we believe. According to the Institute for American Church Growth, 75-90% of new Christians make a commitment to Jesus through a friend who explains the Gospel on an individual, conversational basis. Open and honest communication is key for any good relationship. The Bible says that God's Word will not return void. Every time that you and your friends talk about scripture God is doing a work in their lives. It will probably take more than a few times. It's easy to become frustrated with people who do not seem to get it but God rewards faithfulness! Your friends can be saved, but it’s up to you to open your mouth and start the conversation.