Three Ways to Prioritize Evangelism in Everyday Life

By Melanie Ratcliffe

On a flight home from Texas, I sat beside an 82-year-old woman who was returning home from visiting her grandkids. We talked, and I asked about her life. She shared that she was a retired English teacher, which led me to share how impactful my high school English teacher was in my life because she noticed when I was struggling with depression and, ultimately, my faith. This piqued the woman’s interest and led to a conversation about Jesus and the legacy we leave behind after we are gone.

Often, as Christians, sharing the gospel becomes an event rather than a regular occurrence. Jesus is our main example of how to prioritize evangelism in our everyday lives. He intentionally stopped on the road for a cool drink and a deep conversation (John 4). He was purposeful in seeking out a tax collector and going to his house (Luke 19). He deliberately asked significant questions to reach the person’s heart in seemingly insignificant circumstances.

How can we mimic Jesus and prioritize evangelism in our everyday lives?

We can do this by:

  1. Turning inconveniences into opportunities
    We experience inconveniences almost every day, from the card reader not working at the gas pump to the five o’clock traffic on the freeway. What would happen if we viewed these minor inconveniences as God-given opportunities? Despite many neighbors having no solicitation signs posted in their yards, businesses still go door to door, hoping to get a new customer. One day, a young woman was selling home security systems and came to my door. She was very talkative, so I introduced her to my family and invited her to eat dinner with us. We learned that she came from a bad home life and had left home to come to South Carolina to take a summer job. She stayed and talked with us for two hours. During that conversation, she said, “There is something different about your family. You seem to love each other. Why?”  My husband, my college-age daughter and I then shared how Jesus changed our lives and how He made all the difference. She returned two more times to spend time with us before moving back home. She dropped by to say goodbye and let us know that we saved her life, but we were quick to remind her that Christ did that, not us. What inconvenience could you turn into an opportunity?
  2. Overcoming barriers to build friendships
    When my son played T-ball, I would drive him to practice and sit in my car to read while I waited. One day, I noticed several moms sitting on the bleachers, talking and hanging out. I was new to the “baseball mom thing” and a little shy about inserting myself into their conversations, but I decided I would try. This led to long-lasting friendships and spiritual conversations. What about you? Is there an activity where you could join the conversation? Maybe you have barriers preventing you from joining the conversations: past hurt, insecurities or other challenges. I encourage you to ask the Lord to open doors and help you overcome these barriers.
  3. Praying with immediacy
    God is incredibly powerful, and the act of talking to Him is incredibly powerful. We often are asked to pray for people but sometimes forget. It’s not because we don’t want to, but we get busy. We also forget the trust that comes with praying for someone’s needs. That person is trusting you with something hard that they need the power of God alone to fix. So, what if we begin stopping to pray right then with that person? What if we ask the waiter or waitress how we can pray for them when we pray for our food? Making a habit of praying immediately shows that we care and believe our God can do it!

Prioritizing evangelism in our everyday lives demands a culture shift. It means stepping out of our comfort zones to allow others in our spaces to do life together. Those within our sphere of influence will see us living out the gospel authentically, which will spark life-transformational conversations. In what ways are you prioritizing evangelism in your everyday life?

Published March 15, 2024

Melanie Ratcliffe

Melanie Ratcliffe is the Director of Relational Evangelism at the South Carolina Baptist Convention. She is married to Jody, a church planter, and is the mother of three amazing adult children. She formerly served with the International Mission Board in Russia and is working toward her Ph.D. in Leadership.