Sunday, 6 March 2011

Stepping out of the boat: My impromptu evangelism

Like most Christians, my greatest fear is actually telling people about Jesus. But as many people come to realise at some point in their lives, God has a fantastic sense of humour, and you can't run away from Him forever. So, I decided to attend my mum's church today. It was actually one in which I grew up, and spent most of my free time from about the ages of five till sixteen. I didn't really want to go to be honest, the main reason being it's an Anglican church and after you've been used to spending an hour and a half maximum in church in the UK, spending close to four hours in church seems like torture sometimes.

Anyway, I can't be bothered to get a cab to my usual church so I decide to go with my mum. I get there, and it's all good. The Sunday school is interesting, lots of lively discussion. At some point I take a look at the bulletin (or programme, for those of you not familiar with the Anglican way). I notice that number five on the list says 'Evangelism'. I think nothing of it, assuming it's probably something to do with the evangelism department, maybe a drama sketch or something. I'm actually looking forward to it. But as the minutes go by, and from some of the stuff the pastor is saying, I begin to realise that the word 'Evangelism' actually means what it says this time; we (i.e. the church) are going out on the streets to try to win some souls. I am mortified. 'Lord, you can't be serious!', I think to myself. 'On the one day I decide to pay this place a visit, they decide the church must go out and preach?'

So I begin to devise an escape plan in my head.

Option one: Go home. Just get a cab and head home.
Problem with this option; people will see me and it won't look good escaping whilst others are going out. Plus I'd feel guilty for about a week, and I can't deal with that right now.

Option two: Go to my usual church, will probably still meet the second service.
Problem with this option; same as with option one, plus I'm wearing the same dress I wore to that church the last time I was there, and we all know that won't do.

Option three: Stay at the church and wait for others to come back.
Problem with this option; everyone is going out, even the kids. And if I'm asked why I'm staying back, I'm screwed. I've never been good at lying, especially in church. Plus I'd be bored out of my mind; they won't be back for at least an hour!

 Anyway, when I decide there's no good enough escape route, I head out with the rest of the crowd. We're told to go out in pairs, and I know no one, and I don't talk to people, so I'm standing there like a muppet. I'm paired up with a random teenager and he turns me down. Seriously. Anyway, I finally find someone willing to go with me, and we head out to fish.

After walking for a few minutes down some dead streets (everyone goes to church on Sundays in Nigeria, believer or not), we find a potential candidate for our Bible bashing. Just kidding. Anyway, we get talking to this guy, and it is amazing. He listens, and I don't even have to threaten him with hell once. For real. He even sheds a few tears whilst we're praying for him! In my head I'm like, 'this is not happening!' (and I promise I didn't hit him). 

In the end, I add two souls to my collection (that sounds kinda evil doesn't it?) and it feels great. I'm so happy I even go into a fast food joint for a quick celebratory meal, before I head back to face the remaining three or so hours of the service. I love Nigerian churches.


  1. Wow! This is great. That just shows that all we need to do is obey because God always backs up His word with signs and wonders. It is the Holy Spirit that convicts people of their need for God, all we have to do is share our own story i.e. be a witness. So happy for you dear, this is so good. There is great joy in heaven over the repentance of a sinner - and you got two! Praise God. Keep it up, Renny. Miracles still happen - even in the UK. We are quite keen on evangelism at my church in Coventry, as all Christians should be really (Matthew 28:18-20). May God grant us the grace to be obedient and 'blessed to be a blessing'.xx

    - Niki O.

  2. Absolutely Niki! And to think what I'd have missed had I not gone that morning! It truly is amazing what God can do when we step out in faith (or even in fear as was my case!) I look forward to more similar experiences! :) xxx

  3. Thanks for the first comment on my blog, it feels like someone listens to me now :)
    I love your blog, it's so peaceful but also funny sometimes and very interesting :) Your style of writing is really pleasing to read. I'll visit some more ;)

  4. Thanks for the lovely comments 'thegirlfromtheoutside'! I love your name by the way. I definitely know how it feels to write and feel like no one reads or is listening. That's why I commented on your blog. Hope you're enjoying uni life, do visit some more! :)

  5. Thanks for the blog :) You were right that I'd enjoy it! Good stuff.

    Sounds like you had a pretty amazing Sunday. Glad you didn't take any of your possible escape routes! So many people are dying to hear the reason for the awesome HOPE we have... So lets stop getting nervous and get on with telling folks how much God loves them :D

    Miss you! Much love,
    Jenny xx

  6. Thanks Jenny! yep it truly is an amazing hope that we have. And it is a lot easier once we 'step out' too! look forward to hearing some of your own stories soon! ;) miss you muchly!xx

  7. You are totally right about that being a great fear amongst Christians. When I lived in the UK a while back, I went to a Nigerian church - for some reason we stuck out like sore thumbs !!!! - but anyways, they did have something similar to what you described. Only it was scheduled outside church service on any day but Sunday and welcomes were extended to whoever wanted to join in winning souls. It must have been a very fulfilling thing for you. The closest I've come to "evangelizing" (not sure thats a word!!) to a stranger was at a bus stop when a drunk walked out a pub and started telling me how his life was in shambles and asked would I pray for him there and then. It felt awkward at first, but absolutely awesome after that. So good for you that you did that.

    Nice blog by the way. Will be sure to drop by more often.

  8. Thanks Wendal! trust me it wasn't an easy decision to make as I was so unprepared, but I'm very glad I didn't run! I love your story about the drunk! how did he know you could pray for him??? did you have 'christian' written on your forehead or something?? :)

  9. very funny and interesting read. loved it! As scary as talking to people about God feels,its an assignment we were given, and we were also given the ability to do it. i wouldn't want to stand in front of God with a fishing line and bait but with no fish! hope we all step out of the boat at every opportunity.

  10. True talk Chisom! Love the fishing analogy too! (where'd you get that line from??) I like what you said about being given the ability. It's a lot easier to do something if you knew beforehand that you could definitely do it, so we musn't forget that! thanks for your comments love!xx