How to evangelize?

I attended a talk by Deacon Wu tonight. What attracted me to go was the topic: 如何進入他人心去播希望的種子? I am glad that I went. Throughout the entire talk, I kept feeling very challenged, to be more colloquial, my heart felt very 撽. But as he said, it’s actually a good thing to find out in what areas we need “tutorials”.

Basically, the key to evangelize is to walk with the person during his/her difficult time. He has covered many points, I will try to recall as much as possible here:

  • Learning with bonding: If the person doesn’t find you to be someone who is worthy to listen to, whatever you say will not mean anything to him/her. He offered a few examples of how he interacted with students in Macau. When a student was being punished to stand under the sun in the afternoon, he would stand there with him. To evangelize is not “talking about Jesus”, it’s acting the biblical way.
  • Getting closer: Deacon Wu did an experiment. 4 pairs of people were called out. The combinations are: (a) male and female, not related, (b) male and male, not related, (c) female and female, not related, (d) husband and wife. They were told to walk toward the other, whenever it gets too close, one side can back down. Of course, except (d), no other pairs could get very close. This just proves that getting closer doesn’t always work. If we get closer without getting that person’s trust, he/she is just going to retreat.
  • Do not judge: When we pass judgement or condemn a person, we shut off the channel to communicate. He/she would not listen to us ever again. Jesus did not condemn the woman who committed adultery, He asked her to go home and not to sin again.
  • Start where the person is: When Jesus spoke to the rich young man, He mentioned a few of the commandments: honour your father and mother, do not commit adultery, do not steal etc. Deacon Wu explained that’s because Jesus knew the young man could not handle the first commandment. It would be better to start with something the person can handle first, in order to keep the conversation going.
  • Jesus preached at the synagogue at age 12. Deacon Wu said that if He kept preaching and not obey His parents, He would be doing His own will, not God’s will. (This is something I never realized…) We have to follow God’s will, not our will.
  • 天人合一: God created us because He loves us. Even when we screw up, God still wants to be with us. When we fail to “黐住” Him, He sent us His son to “黐住” us. God loves us so much that even when Adam and Eve had to leave the Garden of Eden, God made them clothes to protect them. (Genesis 3:21 – 上主天主為亞當和他的妻子做了件皮衣,給他們穿上 – this is a detail that I never paid attention)
  • Head function vs. heart function: Deacon Wu said that to believe is a head function, but to have a sense of hope maybe a heart function?
Gospels
  • Matthew: The gospel starts with the pedigree chart of Jesus. At the end of Chapter 1, it talks about Jesus being named Emannuel – “God with us”. At the end of the gospel (Chapter 28), Jesus said to the apostles: “看!我同你們天天在一起,直到今世的終結。”
  • Luke: The gospel starts with Zachariah not being able to speak (thus rendering his priest’s blessing invalid). At the end of the gospel (Chapter 24), Jesus blessed the apostles and disciples before ascended into heaven.
  • (forgot about Mark)
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