The Awareness Factor in Personal Evangelism

I think a lot of us go through life not living in the moment we are living, but living in the next thing we are going to do. Even now, I am thinking about my list of “to do” things. If you are much the same way, then both of us have a potential problem. The problem has a name. It’s what I call “missing the moment.” Missing the moment in personal evangelism is when we are so occupied with another dimension of time that we fail to capitalize on the moment we are now in. How this relates to personal evangelism is very important.

The awareness factor is a mindset that keeps us in check, recognizing the opportunities presented right in front of us, in that moment. Most of us have had the experience of walking away from a situation and later realizing that it would have been a prefect place to embark on a spiritual conversation, perhaps even to present the good news of Jesus Christ, and have missed it. The reason for missing it was simply not being aware of what was happening in the moment.

What causes this kind of mental time distortion? For me it is either I’m preoccupied about a situation that has happened or thinking about my next thing coming up. It is a preoccupation when mentally I have checked out of the moment and I am either living in the past or in the future. I understand we all do this from time to time, and we need to do think this way, but it can be a hindrance to awareness of opportunities to share the live-changing power of Christ.

What can I do to “be in the moment”? First, be aware that this is happening. Awareness about awareness can lead to its own cure. Second, when you have your time alone with God, pray and ask the Lord to help you be aware of possible witnessing situations; situations that could lead to you demonstrating the love of Jesus to someone else around you. Third, at the beginning of the day, think through what you know you’ll be doing; the people you will see. Think about what the situations could be like, then make some mental notes of directive questions you can ask(see other articles on directive questions). Tuck them in the back of your mind and ask the Lord to remind you of them at the proper time. You will be amazed at how God will bring things to the forfront of your mind by simply asking him to help in this. Fourth, remember that you are who you are at God’s calling and equipping. He will use you when you say to him, “Lord, here is what’s on my agenda today, but I would like to follow yours whenever you wish.” Its a dangerous prayer, but one that can make your life exciting. Would you pray that with me today?


About Jimmy Kinnaird

Jimmy started his ministry on the streets of the French Quarter of New Orleans leading a jazz band as a tool to witness for Christ. He has also been a church staff member, church planter, pastor, and Church Outreach Team Leader for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. Recently, Jimmy served as Personal Evangelism Resource Coordinator on the Personal Evangelism Team at the North American Mission Board, SBC. He is currently pastor of Village Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
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