The Need for Patience in Evangelism

The Need for Patience in Evangelism
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season, we will reap, if we do not give up.”-Galatians 6:9

 As many of you know, my wife Shannon and I have a ten-month-old son named Knox. Watching our son grow and develop and learn through these ten months has been fascinating and surprising to say the least. At times, things have proceeded exactly like we expected – in a clear, straightforward, and linear manner. At other times, Knox seemed to get stuck for a long period of time trying to learn one particular skill or master one particular task. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, he would take a great leap forward and overcome that particular hurdle in a matter of hours or days. The irregular and often erratic development of children requires patience and consistency from their parents, working with them and helping them day after day despite the apparent lack of progress or movement forward.

Just as parents have expectations about the growth and development of their children, so Christians have expectations about the spiritual growth and development of those they are seeking to evangelize. We often expect linear and consistent growth in holiness and understanding. We expect that we will share the gospel a few times and those we share it with will believe and profess faith – soon becoming regular church attenders with changed lives. But it doesn’t always work that way. More often than not, growth in grace and understanding is irregular and erratic – two steps forward, five steps back, and two steps forward again.

What are we to do when we are faced with these frustrating and irregular results of evangelism? Be patient. Be consistent. Don’t give up. Keep at it. As Galatians says, “Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season, we will reap, if we do not give up.” That’s a promise from God – and we can take it to the bank.

Your Pastor and Friend,
John Knox Foster

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