November 3 – Silent evangelism

There is a nice quote frequently attributed to St. Francis of Assisi: “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” I’m convinced this an adaptation of his writing in his “Rule” for the Franciscan monastic order prohibiting friars from preaching unless they had received the proper permission to do so. Then he added, “Let all the brothers, however, preach by their deeds.”

As a United Methodist I affirm the “priesthood of all believers” and know that all Christians are called to preach by their deeds and some are called and gifted to preach using words. However, I have been noticing a trend lately that opens the door to conversation with people in our community: wearing in public shirts with “Warrenton United Methodist Church” printed on them. Pastor John wears them frequently and this week after church I went out to lunch with a choir member who still had her choir shirt on. I know John gets frequent comments and conversations started with his shirts and the same thing happened at lunch because our waiter commented on the choir member’s shirt.

Not everyone is comfortable striking up a conversation with folks they don’t know, but if a waiter (or other acquaintance) comments on your WUMC shirt isn’t that just a great opportunity to invite them to church? To share some of the exciting things happening…like our 5:55 p.m. service that kicks off this Sunday!

This could be a great form of “silent evangelism” – who wants to buy a shirt?

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