Evangelism Step One: Just Show Up

Dan Lovaglia, Camp Pastor, Camp Paradise | January 2, 2024

 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.
Acts 4:12-14

I got a promotion years ago. It was a big deal, but not big enough for me to stop being myself. I acutely remember attending my first meeting with a few leaders I had looked up to for a long time. Why? Partly due to who was in the room, but mostly because I wore a nicer outfit than usual. And how do I know they noticed? Someone asked from across the room: “Why did you dress up?”

It’s taken many years for me to become more comfortable in my own skin. Honestly, I’m still not always great at it, especially when it comes to sharing my faith. I have this idea that I’m supposed to show up better dressed, so to speak. I’d hate to do anything that distracts or gets between someone meeting Jesus and receiving salvation. But why am I convinced deep down that I need to be smarter, better trained, or more eloquently spoken?

In Acts 4, Peter and John put on an unconventional evangelism clinic that gives hope to everyday people like me, and to you too. These ordinary guys didn’t overdress to reach a crowd. They weren’t the most intellectually and theologically prepared in the room. They just showed up, followed the Holy Spirit’s lead, and people noticed their number one credential—“these men had been with Jesus.” The healing that took place in chapter three, along with Peter’s bold in-the-moment salvation message (Acts 4:8-12), both happened because he showed up humble and available for Christ to speak through him.

Sharing our faith can be intimidating, but we don’t need to dress to impress. Along the way, the Lord told his disciples that it’s better to just show up and wait for the Holy Spirit to provide the words to say (see Luke 12:11-12). After being with Jesus, this was Peter and John’s first step in evangelism, and that’s what we should do too.

Next Steps

Jesus says the Holy Spirit “will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (see John 14:15-31). Look over your schedule for the next week. Who will you meet with that may tempt you to “dress up” instead of just show up? Talk with Jesus about your questions and fears. Ask Him to give you courage to simply take evangelism step one.