A friend once told me that he had just heard a preacher say to his congregation, “I cannot evangelize because I’m a preacher. People don’t want to hear from me! Therefore, I have to rely on you to tell other people about Christ.”
Forgive my frankness, but he was actually saying, “I’m afraid to evangelize, but I would never admit that to you, so this is just the excuse I am going to use.” The fact is being a preacher is an advantage in evangelism! It can make it easier—not harder—to evangelize.
Evangelizing can be easier for a pastor because people already think that we get paid to talk about Jesus. Therefore, when I am on a plane, going about my neighborhood, or just doing something alongside of an unsaved person, they are often intrigued and want to talk upon hearing that I am a preacher. Obviously, though, they don’t want me shoving something down their throat. When they quickly find out that I am not that kind of person, they are even more approachable.
Evangelizing can also be easier for a pastor because we have some of the best opportunities. People have not given up on God. Pay careful attention to how much God, Jesus, and spiritual things are brought up on the front covers of magazines, the headlines on the news, or in the conversations on TV programs. People may have given up on the church, convinced it is no longer relevant. Since they have not given up on God, though, they usually enjoy the opportunity to talk to one of His “representatives.”
Know, too, that unbelievers are far more approachable when a tragedy hits an area. It’s then that they sometimes struggle the most with God. They welcome the opportunity to interact with a preacher about those struggles. I would be the first to admit that the demeanor and attitude of the preacher is critical. Unbelievers need to sense that you are a friend, not a foe who wants to attack them.
Don’t ever apologize for being a preacher. Thank God that you are one! Many believers who know and understand the unsaved know what advantage you have and would love to be in your shoes. Use your God-given position as an advantage and opportunity for the gospel.