I remember hearing about D.L. Moody; how many called him one of the greatest evangelist of his day and how he made it a point to win at least one person to the Lord every day before he could go to sleep. And how a critic, after hearing how aggressive he was at times to keep this promise; the critic said, “I don’t like your way of evangelism!”
Mr. Moody responded by asking, “How many have you won to the Lord today?” The person’s response was, “None.”
Then he asked, “How many have you won this week?” Again, the person’s response was, “None.”
Then Moody asked, “How many in the last month?” The person replied, “None.”
Then Mr. Moody asked, “Well then, how do you evangelize?” The person’s response was, “I don’t do evangelism!”
D.L. Moody’s responded back, “It’s clear you don’t like my way of doing evangelism. You raise a good point though. Frankly, I sometimes do not like my way of doing evangelism. But I like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it.”
There is always going to be someone who doesn’t like what you are doing or how you do it. If their way is truly better or if they are getting better results, then maybe they have a valid point. But in most cases, it’s very much like D.L. Moody’s critic; they criticize to cover up their lack of activity or to legitimize their false position.
About 25 years ago, I was teaching people how to share their testimony or how to share Christ with a complete stranger, cold-turkey so to speak. Where we would go door-to-door or go to the local teenager’s hang-out and share Christ.
One day during one of our home group meetings (Bible study group), we decided to break up into teams of two or three and do some door-to-door evangelism in the neighborhood.
A visiting uncle of one of our church members was there, who said he’d like me to show him how to evangelize by going door-to-door, because nobody in their Church was doing any evangelism and he’d like to learn how. So, he came with me; by the time we got to the third house, he started doing all of the talking and he found himself sharing Christ to a complete stranger.
After about two hours of going and finding out how easy I made it, he was on fire to do it once a week with me. He asked if he could bring some of his church, so I could teach them also; where I said, “Yes bring them!”
A week later he knocked on my door and said he couldn’t go with us anymore. I asked why and he said, “I told my church about how easy and fun you made evangelism and they were excited about the opportunity, until the Pastor asked what church you belonged to.”
He said, “My Pastor then said if you want to learn evangelism, our church has a school that we can send you to, but we don’t believe you should continue with him anymore.”
Sometime later, I asked my friend about his uncle, he told me his uncle went to the school of evangelism and afterwards he came back, but he never went anywhere to share his faith again.
It was a Baptist evangelist and his wife who lead me to the Lord, but because I didn’t go to a Baptist Church, this man’s Pastor didn’t want his people to be taught by me and the fire that was started in this man’s heart was quickly put out.
Sometimes it not about how we do it, but what Church we go to that turns people into a critic. In any case, there is always going to be a critic or someone who is more than willing to throw some water on your fire.
Be ready for someone to say, “I don’t like the way you are going it!” Don’t allow the critics to chase you away from doing what is right or get discourage when some fall away from you. Protect the fire and don’t allow anyone to put it out.