Eleven years ago, when I became a senior pastor, I puzzled over how to encourage people to share their faith. I believed in lifestyle evangelism and wanted to be an example to the congregation.
I just didn't do it. I didn't know any non-Christians. My whole world was the church. I worked with Christians, socialized with Christians, and worshiped with Christians. All of my evangelism was "official"—preaching, funerals, walk-in counseling. I wondered what sort of evangelist I would be without all the official opportunities. If I were not a pastor, would I be any good at doing what I told my flock to do?
I asked God to teach me to be a "fisher of men." Since then God has given me some wonderful and painful pointers.
What unchurched friends?
I'd always assumed that unchurched people would not want to be friends with a pastor. My role would make people feel awkward. They would cuss when they hit a bad golf shot, turn, blush, and apologize to me. Or, at a birthday party make comments about ...1