One of the most common hindrances to evangelism today is the simple fact that too many believers have little or no significant contact with unbelievers.
Sure, many of us work side-by-side with them for hours at a time on a regular basis, but what about after that? Do we spend any time with them socially? Do we have any meaningful friendships with unbelievers?
It seems that, over the course of our lives as believers in Jesus Christ, our circle of friends often becomes more and more narrow in at least one very important sense – we for whatever reason end up having fewer and fewer unbelieving friends. And because of that, our opportunities for evangelism are then fewer and fewer as well.
Thabiti M. Anyabwile writes,
Perhaps our failure to be hospitable explains why so many Christians have few non-Christian friends and find themselves far removed from evangelistic opportunities. We cannot share the gospel with a person we fail to greet, or speak to a person with whom we refuse to spend time. Apart from being hospitable on some level, sharing the good news becomes close to impossible. (Finding Faithful Elders And Deacons, p.72)
Many of us (present company included!) need to work at reversing this trend. We need to resist the urge to isolate and insulate ourselves from others. We need to actively look for ways to get involved in the lives of others, and to allow them to be involved in ours as well.
If we do that, things may get a little messy and uncomfortable at times. But we will eventually find that, over time, one of the biggest obstacles to evangelism has been removed. It really is much easier to share the good news if we cultivate the grace of hospitality.