Do we really understand the meaning of Evangelism?
I studied music at Delta State University, Abraka. So yeah, I’m a musicologist. After school and NYSC I taught music in a school for sometime before going my own way.
So while I was on my own, I decided to start a music school for children from age 8 – 12. I got my learning space, drew up my course outline, printed some flyers, and went out to get my clients (parents with kids of the above age range).
After discussing with some parents and giving them the flyer, I eventually stopped at a church in my area. This church is actually owned by my Uncle, but I hardly go there. However, it was a Wednesday and they were holding the mid-week service.
The time was some minutes after 5 in the evening. I was tired after my long day, so I wasn’t sure I’d be able to wait. I thought of placing the flyers on the cars of the church members and going home. I approached the security man at the car park and explained what I wanted to do. He said he couldn’t let me without permission from the chief security guy.
So I asked how I can meet the guy. He pointed to an elderly man standing at the church gate entrance.
You see, this church doesn’t encourage female members to wear trousers, makeup, braid their hair, wear weavon, necklaces or earrings. Going to the church entrance to discuss with this man, who now had his eyes on me, meant that I must meet all the requirements. Besides women must cover their hair before stepping foot in the church.
I looked at myself. I was wearing make-up and earrings. My hair wasn’t covered, but at least it wasn’t made. It was just my natural hair. And I was wearing a skirt, not trousers. However, I felt that since I was actually not going into the main church, I could at least discuss with the guy.
The church’s car park is a different compound from the main church building. So I had to cross the road to the other side. Then I received a shock.
Before I could place one foot in the compound, the chief security man yelled at me, warning me not to dare cross the gate with my prostitute way of dressing. He said all sorts. I stepped back and tried to explain. But he wasn’t listening.
I decided to cross the road back to the car park. But this guy has decided I’m a witch. He crossed the road too and warned me to get out of the vicinity. That I’m a bad influence. But this time, I refused to move. He said he’ll beat me. Still I refused to move. If he had laid a finger on me, he would have known then that his pastor is my Uncle, my dad’s favorite cousin and that aside, he’d be severely dealt with, church or no church.
Since he saw I was stubborn about moving, he left me alone and returned to his position, still insulting and rubbishing me to the other men who were at the gate entrance too.
The security guy at the car park apologised on his behalf, saying that was the man’s behaviour. He was always mean to people. Anyway, despite being tired, I stood at the car park and waited for service to be over, so I could share my flyers in peace to parents.
Fast forward to about a year later. This same guy is going with a small group for a house to house evangelism. He didn’t get to my house, I met him on the way and pitied those who will listen to him.
When we got close, he extended a flyer to me. I told him as long as it was him, I wasn’t interested. He asked if he had done any bad thing to me before that made me say what I said. He asked if he has even met me before.
Then I narrated his story. The guy was shocked. The group he walked with were shocked. Tried to plead on his behalf. I ignored all of them and walked away.
I mean, seriously, I was wearing trousers that day, with more make-up and braids. So they thought they should come and preach to this prostitute.
I never told this to my Uncle, and I never bothered going to his church for anything again.
Dear Christians. Yes, I’m a Christian too. But pu…lea….se, evangelism isn’t just about carrying gospel pamphlets and preaching to people you don’t know on the street. Evangelism is your actions and inactions to both the people you know and the ones you do not know, in your everyday life.
Don’t try to impose your thoughts or feelings or belief on another person. If you must, use a subtle approach, not going all commando on the person. It never goes well.
So, over to you. Have you ever experienced something like this?
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