If you have not watched this interview with Dr. Rosaria Butterfield, let me highly encourage you to do so (it is an hour long, but it is well worth your time). Dr. Butterfield is a former lesbian and tenured literature professor at Syracuse University who came to Christ through the faithful friendship of a Presbyterian pastor and his wife.
Dr. Butterfield speaks insightfully (and quite engagingly) about her journey to the Christian faith, and she offers many helpful thoughts related to how we should share the gospel and love those who need Christ.
Nicholas McDonald has a great summary of her interviewhere. He breaks down her main points as:
- Be patient – Good evangelists are patient; we’re not trying to rush people into “decisions”, we’re coming alongside them as a genuine friend who cares.
- Be polite – The manner in which we introduce the gospel is at least as important as what we say.
- Be probing – Good evangelism almost always starts with good, genuine questions. Just look at the life of Jesus!
- Be prayerful – If conversion is regeneration, none of our words can sufficiently do the job. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to break through.
- Be plain – Non-Christians need to see that we are not people who’ve gotten it together, but who’ve fallen apart at the cross of Christ.
- Be philanthropic – Christians, we need to bring those we consider “dirty” in the door – we need not fear “contamination” because we are the contaminants as well, and we have a remedy through Christ.
- Be in pursuit – Christians need to let go of their self-righteous prejudices and unfounded fears, and make friends with those they consider different by their own initiative.
- Part with preferences – As Christians, we need to strip away every unbiblical obstacle to Christ and meet people where they are, and sacrifice our preferences for non-essentials in order to do the essential work of evangelism.
Both the interview and the blog post are well worth your time. Watch, read, and be encouraged that God saves those we often peg as “the least likely to come to Christ,” and he often does so when his people open up their lives and commit to faithfully loving people and sharing the good news of salvation in Jesus.