Evangelism is not something I am good at. Quite an admission for someone who has been a pastor for over 30 years. But I readily admit that it is not my spiritual strongpoint. But I find it interesting as I read the Newer Testament all the different ways that Jesus goes about doing evangelism. Here in John 1 we see a very effective method that we can easily emulate if we want to do a better job of introducing people to Jesus. I call it the “Come and See” approach.
Jesus uses this approach in 1:39 when a few guys were tagging along with Jesus and asked Him a simple question. “Rabbi, where are you staying?” He tells them to “come and see.”
Philip picked up on this approach when he was chatting with his very skeptic friend Nathanael:
Philip: We have found the one that Moses wrote about in the Law… Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
Nathanael: Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?
Philip: Come and see!
The idea is simple and brilliant. Just use the power of an invitation to give people an opportunity to encounter Jesus.
In one of his podcasts, called Keystone Habits, Andy Stanley discusses some cues that believers can listen for to trigger a very simple invitation:
If someone you are talking to says something like: “Things are not going very well…” You say, “Why don’t you come to church with me.”
If someone you are talking to says something like: “I’m just not prepared for…” You say, “Why don’t you come to church with me.”
If someone you are talking to says something like: “I’m not from around here…” You say, “Why don’t you come to church with me.”
A simple invitation. I don’t have to know a bunch of Bible verses or steps to tell people to get into heaven. Just invite.
I can do that. It’s what Philip did and it changed Nathanael’s life.