Chicagoland pastor encourages believers to Prayer-Care-Share.
Ed: Lon, why did you write (Im)Possible?
Lon: I wanted all God’s people to know that they can share their faith as a way of life and enjoy it! It doesn’t have to be a ‘must do,’ but can become a ‘want to.’ The truth is, we were made for this. It’s in our spiritual DNA. I just want to help people release what’s in them because the Spirit who lives in them is a witness for Christ.
Ed: What stops people from a witness life?
Lon: There are several things that stop people, but the biggest one is a four-letter word—FEAR. I understand that. I’ve been doing evangelism for 46 years. My training is in this field; I teach it at both a Masters and Doctoral level, and I’m still afraid. Why? The bottom line is Satan.
When I realized that fear of witnessing was as much a temptation as any other temptation, a light went off for me. All the concerns like fear of rejection, persecution, embarrassment, etc. are inflamed by the tempter making them bigger than they should be.
But what do I do about it? Expect fear, ask God for courage, and witness anyway. Whenever I do, both His love for the lost and my joy and sense of purpose when I share far exceed any fear that assailed me in the beginning. My wife, Marie, likens witness to riding a roller coaster. The initial fear as the cars are drawn up the high track is soon replaced by exhilaration. She calls it “scary-fun.”
Ed: You define evangelism or witness in an intriguing way. What is it?
Lon: To witness is to cooperate with God and others to bring a person at least one step closer to God.
Ed: Unpack that for me.
Lon: First of all, God is the evangelist. His prevenient grace is at work in a person’s life before we ever …