Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Harmonicas And Evangelism

By Pastor Bruce Oyen

    Harmonicas and evangelism. How do they relate to one another? Here's how: Many Christians want to help others come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior. But how to go about it is not always an easy thing to figure out. It is often hard to know how to bring up the subject of salvation with those who might not know the Lord.
   Many times an "out of the blue" approach does not get very far. It is better than not making any attempt to reach others with the message of salvation, but, still,  it often does not get very far. Therefore, winning someone to the Lord might first require winning their friendship, so that they will be more inclined to consider the Gospel message. Winning someone's friendship is a step in winning the right to be heard. It is winning their trust. Jesus Christ Himself was a friend of sinners, that is, of non-Christians, we are told in Matthew 11:19. We can be, too, so long as we are careful to not let them draw us into doing things that are contrary to Biblical behavior. 1 Corinthians 15:33 warns us that bad company can lead us into bad behavior.
    But how do we go about winning the friendship of non-Christians, which can lead to giving them the Gospel message? It is by determining if we have something in common  with them. That's where harmonicas come into the picture. Many times a week I go on a fast-paced walk for exercise. The same route is nearly always taken. It causes me to walk past a certain coffee kiosk. I like coffee, but I don't want to drink it on my walk. So, I never stop at the kiosk. But the man on duty and I frequently wave at each other, and greet one another.
    Well, the thought came to mind that I should do something to try and reach that man with the Gospel. I wondered if I should use the "out of the blue" approach, or try to win his confidence first. I decided on the latter. And the way to do it became obvious: the coffee man often plays a harmonica when he has no customers to wait on. And I play the harmonica!  So, one day recently I stopped at the kiosk and struck up a conversation about our mutual interest in harmonicas. We exchanged names and did some small talk. Then, the next day I put a harmonica in my pocket before going on my walk. The coffee man had no customers at that time, so I stopped and showed him my harmonica. Then played "I Saw The Light" on it.  Unfortunately, he did not have a harmonica with him that day, so he couldn't play a song for me. Sometime soon he will do so.
    My point is this: harmonicas became my link to building a friendship with this man, whose name is Mike. He might be a Christian. But now, with the Lord's help, I hope soon to have more visits with him, and hope to be able to speak with him about whether or not he knows Jesus Christ as his Savior.
    All that has led to this: we can win friends through common interests, and hopefully win them to faith in Jesus Christ. Here are some interests we might have in common with non-Christians:
  • Quilting
  • Baseball
  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Photography
  • Grandkids
  • Pets
  • Fishing
  • Hunting 
  • Gardening
  • Antiques
  • Motorcycles
  • Classic cars
  • Politics
  • Bowling
  • The Civil War
  • Airplanes
  • Musical instruments
      Now, the thing to do is to find a non-Christian with an interest common to you both and build a friendship based on that interest. Then, look at that friendship as an opportunity to lead them to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
     If you want a good Gospel tract to give someone, whether they are a friend or a stranger, click on the following link and print out as many copies as you need:

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