Interesting statement to be found in a book about evangelizing. I happen to agree with it. Why? As the author explains, it's difficult to go from nothing to a "decision" very quickly. Who is this author, you ask? It's Greg Koukl, author of Tactics, A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions. I'm not finished with this book yet but have found it a breath of fresh air so far.
Let's get back to his aim, he states that, ...It may surprise you to hear this but I never set out to convert anyone. May aim is never to win someone to Christ. I have a more modest goal, one you might consider adopting yourself. All I want to do is put a stone in someones shoe. I want to give him something worth thinking about, something he can't ignore because it continues to poke at him in a good way (pg 38).
At last, someone with a reasonable approach to evangelizing. He then goes on to recognize that in some Christian circles it's expected the Christian "close the sale." This is the sort of witnessing technique I was accustomed to hearing about in my youth and disliked it. Koukl counters with, You don't have to try to close every deal. I have two reasons for this view. First, Not all Christians are good closers. How very true that is. We are not salesmen for Christ, nor should we be. Many of us are not harvesters as Koukl points out, we are just ordinary gardeners. Here's the second reason....In most situations, the fruit is not ripe. The nonbeliever is simply not ready (pg. 39). Again, he nails it. He'd rather put a stone in a nonbeliever's shoe than try to take things too far, too fast. I agree.
On page 40 he offers the following, I encourage you to consider the strategy I use when God opens the door of opportunity for me. I pray quickly for wisdom, then ask myself this: What one thing can I say in this circumstance, what one question can I ask, what seed can I plant that will get the other person thinking? Then I simply try to put a stone in the person's shoe. I believe that to be wonderful and very wise advice. We often take to much upon ourselves. We must re-enforce in our minds that it is the Spirit who brings someone to belief. We are only the mouthpiece and often just one of many.
I truly look forward to finishing this book. It has certainly surpassed my expectations so far.