April 12

Written by Bill Grandi on April 12th, 2022

After yesterday’s interlude, I’d like to come back to my series of posts based on some thoughts from Wisdom Hunter by Randall Arthur.

Here is a really powerful and thought-provoking quote:

Remember: Jesus compares evangelism to sowing seeds, not swinging swords.

For the longest time it was “assumed” by some that beating others over the head with the Gospel would “convert” them or “win them to Jesus.” I know I have, and I’m sure others have as well, known some evangelists who would sing all 900 verses of Just As I Am until someone comes forward. They dragged it out for that one soul. I cynically wondered if someone finally came forward to stop the endless singing and pleading.  And yes, beating over the head with guilt.

But that is not nearly as bad as the street corner preacher or the college campus preacher who stood and screamed at people as they walked by. The ones on the college campus would yell out at the top of their lungs “sinner” or “fornicator” or “cheater,” etc.  while pointing a finger or looking at someone. Adversarial in nature, they swung swords instead of planting seeds.

Paul once wrote, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.” (NASB2020) Simply put, it was not and is not our responsibility to convert people. Nor is it a one-man/one-woman job. And no one should take credit for it. It takes time for people to hear, accept, absorb, and respond.  Pounding it in does not work.

Seeds are sown in love not hate. Seeds are sown with deftness, not brashness. Seeds are sown with a heart of compassion for the lost soul, not a heart of coldness reveling in calling out their sinfulness and lostness.

Speak the truth. But speak the truth in love not yielding a swinging sword. You just might cut off their ear so they can’t hear at all.

“Father, help me to be winsome in my approach to others. Help me to sow seeds not swing swords.”


6 Comments so far ↓

  1. Beating someone over the head with the Gospel never works, Bill. If anything, it may drive the person away – what a tragedy!
    May we all sow seeds instead.

  2. Ryan S. says:

    Perhaps the browbeating works for some, but I can’t see how its effectiveness could be more than developing a relationship. I know that some feel there is an urgency to push people through the salvation “drive through”, and there may be some legitimacy to it, but I have come to believe that establishing credibility through relationship and sharing of one’s own experience and transformation seem to be more effective in the long run. Though it does take time, effort, and the willingness to get a little dirty at times.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I’m like you Ryan. I prefer to establish a relationship that rush someone through the “drive thru.” Some of that is also my personality I know since I am not a pusher.

  3. gail says:

    Absolutely true, after all you do not plant flowers and then jump up and down on them to get them to grow, you water and protect them. Same with people, the goal is to have Christ change their heart, as only He can do, so that all the glory goes to the Lord. Just be happy that you were a small part of the process.
    I remember being at Ball State and having an evangelist screaming out at the students. I never remember them ever having a crowd to talk to, just passerby’s.
    Father help me to not miss the opportunities to plant seeds, I want to be a part of your team. Help me to understand how to cultivate the seed with love, and not to over work the soil.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      That is a great analogy Gail about the flowers and jumping up and down. When i was at a church in Terre Haute I knew one of those screamers. He used to go to ISU and also IU and possibly Ball State. Not sure. But they are all cut from the same cloth.