Sharing Jesus can come across like hurling bricks at a stranger.
Imagine that we who have found faith are walking upon a solid foundation through life. The ground at our feet is like the roads paved with gold in Revelation. That road is like a perfect set of golden bricks, laid out in neat little rows. Those who have not yet found the sure foundation of the love of God are like people wandering about on sheets of ice all around the road. Why they have not yet stepped foot on solid ground may vary – perhaps it is fear of the unknown or maybe they just have not found it yet.
Evangelism in the church tends to look one of two ways. On one side, some don’t want to bother others with what is clearly our own preference – maybe others like slipping and sliding through life. It’s not for them to push an agenda if others don’t want the path for themselves. On the other side are those who take seriously the call to welcome all to the path. And, seeing the struggle that others go through, they take a brick up from the road, hurl it through the air, and thereby show those on the ice how much more solid the path is than the ice. Of course, plenty of people will be blindsided by flying bricks. Even those who try to catch that one small piece of foundation are pretty likely to face plant in the midst of the attempt. The motivation may be good, but the likelihood of positive change is tiny.
The message of the cross is that Jesus left the path for our sake. He came to us when we had no sure foundation on which to stand, invited us to climb on his back, and carries us for as long as needed to trust that we have been brought to solid ground. Evangelism for Christians can never be ignored, but it also cannot be a means of shouting words at others like hurling bricks in the air. Evangelism properly conceived is the process whereby those on the sure foundation venture onto the ice and offer whatever it takes until all have found that the foundation is sure and the ice is no more.