Stop Breaking Down Barriers and Find the Gate!

October 1, 2013

Evangelism

A gate with signs warning others to keep out.

People put up gates. A wise person will get them to open up.

Most of us protect ourselves by putting up barriers. If we hope to reach people with the Gospel then we must learn to recognize and penetrate those barriers. To do that we must understand the nature of those barriers.

The way we look at these barriers determines our approach to them. Sometimes we see these barriers as walls. We speak of breaking down barriers. This war-mentality sometimes leads to attempts to physically or emotionally force submission. The world has devised many ways of breaking through the walls people put up around their hearts.

Christians who think evangelism requires breaking down walls tend to either bully and berate others (or in other ways force them to comply with the Gospel) or they simply leave others alone rightly concluding that they should not treat others that way.

If we look at these barriers as gates then we will evangelize properly and effectively.

There are many gates people put up. These are usually not designed to keep everyone out. They are designed to allow only the right people in. If you understand the gates you will be able to enter them and you will be welcomed into the heart of the person you are trying to reach.

The reason people have gates is an issue of trust. I am convinced that one of the main reasons we are finding it so difficult to reach people today is because they generally do not trust religion. Why should they? The average person sees cults, division, hypocrisy, infighting, and confusion. They are inundated with ideas that convince them that if God is real He has not communicated in a way that can be understood. Sometimes we escalate the problem by going to war but not understanding how to fight the battles. “Christians” use tactics of manipulation, coercion, unfair peer-pressure, degradation, insults, and many other ungodly methods to teach people about the love of God. Is it any wonder “religion” does not make sense to some people? People put up gates to keep bad people out of their hearts and lives. Unfortunately, many of those bad people wear the name “Christian”.

The gates people put up are many and varied. They depend on the person’s background and processes of thought. Culture also comes into play. Fortunately, there is a way to get people to open their gates and let you into their lives. It can be summed in one word: love. It is no accident that most people come to the Lord because family and friends invite them into their spiritual lives. Love allows the people to feel secure enough to let the message of the Gospel enter their hearts.

The main reason we fail at evangelism today is not because the seed is not able to grow. It is because it rarely reaches the soil of the heart. We must determine to understand people and the gates they put up. Their souls are worth the effort.

About Jason Sparks

I am passionate about spreading the Gospel. God has blessed me with a wife and two children. I have been preaching full time since graduating Brown Trail School of Preaching in June, 1999 and also have an MA from University of Phoenix.

View all posts by Jason Sparks

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