Chelsea and I recently started reading through the book Pilgrim's Progress together. As most of you probably know, this book is about a pilgrim named Christian and his journey from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City. Along the way he meets with all sorts of dangers and problems that relate directly to our Christian life. Near the beginning of the story, Christian is standing outside his house reading his little book (the Bible) and weeping because he is not sure how to avoid the destruction that will happen to the city. A man named Evangelist approaches, asks why the man is weeping, then points him towards the light that he must follow. Christian then begins his journey alone.
Several things struck me differently reading through the book this time. First of all, Evangelist didn't show up until Christian was more than ready to follow the directions he would give. Second, Evangelist didn't take Christian by the hand and drag him towards the Wicket Gate. Instead, he sent him on alone. Third, Evangelist wasn't there to help Christian every step of the way. When he fell into the Slough of Despond, Help was there to pull him out. Christian gained wisdom from people such as the Interpreter and the sisters at the Palace Beautiful. A multitude of people helped him along in his pilgrimage, not just Evangelist. Can't we be more like Evangelist today? The Bible tells us, "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!" (Isaiah 52:7). The feet are beautiful when they bring the good news to those who are ready to hear it. The secret to Evangelist's success was that he was able to discern a ripe soul, he didn't drag him along but allowed his convert to learn and make mistakes on his own, and he didn't try to do everything himself but realized that Christian could only be saved through a multitude of people helping him. Why don't we try and be a little more like Evangelist in our relationships with potential converts this week?
Learning to be an Evangelist,