September 27th, Sevilla, Andalucia
Street Evangelism can be done well and not so well. I have encountered Christians trying to share their faith in Jesus Christ with me, in California, and their method is so knee-jerking or dorky that they leave me weirded out. So imagine, if it is my job to do the same exact thing, that is, convert people to my belief system, and I get weirded out by other Christians, then that shows that when somebody else who is not in favor of organized religion, or at least not in favor of proselytizing, comes into contact with evangelizing people who are socially untactful, that the non-religious person usually will leave with a very negative opinion of my religion.
So yesterday I went street witnessing. There is a campaign to open a new evangelical church in Alcala del Rio, North of Sevilla, Spain. So I met short-term missionary teams from Paraguay & Norway who have been working there this week, sharing their faith and distributing flyers about the new church plant that will be opening on one of the major street corners of Alcala del Rio, Andalucia.
Well I noticed when I was doing a 5 question survey of high school students, that some of my WELL MEANING co-workers wore white dress shirts and black dress pants, that is, they were dressed so formally that they appeared frightening to the Andalusian teenagers. I saw them approaching the teens in a way that scared those students off.
My partner and I, on the other hand, were dressed casually and approached the teens without mentioning religion. We came to a couple of teens who had already been approached by our co-workers and who didn’t want anything to do with our survey, but through talking to them we were able to overcome their leeriness and do the same survey that these teens had already turned down. When they asked what it was for when the survey mentions what we can pray for them for, the teens asked us what our religion was, and my co-worker responded “We aren’t Jehovah’s Witnesses if that’s what you are worried about. We’re just Christians ”. We used the line “not being JW’s” several times, and the teens always laughed when we told them that.
So in all we surveyed about 20 high-schoolers and told them about our church that is opening on the corner by their high school. We had fantastic conversations that got the teens thinking about their future and about Heaven. The connection was authentic and I tried my best to befriend the teens before I tried to convince them. Was I convincing them? Yes! Were they weirded out? No!
So I believe street witnessing is still very important in spreading the Christian faith, it opens up conversations that may not have begun had it not been for the conversation starter, like the survey. And it gives a face to the world of what an Evangelical looks like, which is why it is very important that Evangelicals do not look like Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses.

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