By Sean Taylor
"How can a God Who's supposed to love people let someone like that into
heaven just because he changes his mind right before he's put to death?"
She was cutting my hair and had asked me where I worked and what I did. I told her that I worked for a Christian
magazine about personal evangelism. She had promptly begun discussing the death
row "conversion" (trust me--I could hear the quote marks when she spoke!) of a
convicted rapist and murderer.
Being the associate editor of a magazine dedicated to "helping you share
Christ in the real world," you'd think I'd jump at the chance to tell this
woman about the ins and outs of grace. Guess again. I had the butterflies. "Hmm
..." I said, trying to fill the empty space in the conversation.
She continued. "I mean, I try to be good. Sure, I'm not perfect or anything,
but I've never done anything like that man on death row. How can you just
forgive something like that?"
"Well," I said, "I just finished reading this book called What's So Amazing
About Grace? by Philip Yancey. He talks a lot about that in the book. He says
the cool thing about what Christians call grace is that it's open for anybody,
good people and those who we think don't even deserve a second chance."
"Really? I guess so. But it sure isn't easy to think about."
She changed the subject and continued cutting my hair. When she finished, I
paid and left, wondering as I drove back to work if a new definition of God's
love for people was forming or if she had already forgotten what I'd said.
Regardless, I made a mental memo to take her a copy of the book next time I
found myself heading for her chair.
Looking back on that day, I have to be honest. It wasn't easy to speak up,
and I didn't get to pray with her to become a Christian. But the encounter
showed evidence of a change in me.
You see, I've never been the poster child for being direct in personal
evangelism. If anything, I represented the
club. It's too spur-of-the-moment, too risky, too not-really-me. Like many of
you, door-to-door visits make me queasy, and the idea of taking someone through
the "Four Spiritual Laws" makes me feel more cowardly than the lion of Oz. I
was sure I'd get more in the way than be in the know.
A few years ago, some friends of mine, the guys from the band Jacob's
Trouble, wrote a song called "If Superman Got Saved." The song appealed to the
child in me (and the adult who still loves cartoons and comic books).
Think of all the good he'd do if Superman got saved
So much more than me or you if Superman got saved
One of the things I'm learning here at On Mission is that we don't have to
go somewhere else to "seek the lost"--they're already here in the circle of
people we interact with everyday. And they're not waiting for a
super-evangelist in a bright red cape to leap over a tall building and lead
them through a super-tract. But if you and I were to tell them about Christ in
a way that relates to them and their world, we'd probably find them more than
willing to listen.
Yet making that jump from casual to deliberate conversation isn't always
easy. This issue of On Mission will help you find new ways to be
intentional about talking to people about Christ and sharing this hope we have
(Hebrews 6:19, NASB). So thumb through and see how to create situations that
lead to evangelistic conversations, discover ways to overcome your fears of
sharing Christ and find out why some people aren't interested in Christ or His
Perhaps you'll find your way to be a Superfriend to someone who needs to
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and theAnnie Armstrong Easter Offering® ©Copyright 2013 North American Mission Board, SBC