In Acts 17, Paul’s usual strategy is repeated three times – that of starting his ministry to the population of a town at the Jewish synagogue (2, 10, 17). This may have been a calculated decision to begin with the “low-hanging fruit,” those who are already God-seekers, open to an unseen world beyond their own senses and to Someone who has set the rules for life and holds them accountable. That is a reasonable strategy. Not that others should be ignored – God can move whomever He wants to seek and find Him – but it is reasonable to start with the ones God has already been working with, those whom He has made responsive to Him.
A second strategy Paul used in evangelism was in the content of his message. As Jesus did with the men on the road to Emmaus, Paul explained the prophecies of the Messiah and how these were teaching about Jesus. He encouraged them to gladly welcome the long awaited, promised Messiah, who was Jesus, recently crucified and raised from the dead.
We should be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks us to explain our faith to them. (1 Peter 3:15) But we must also be alert for those seekers God has already prepared for us to engage, that we may finish the job that the Lord started in their hearts. This is the teamwork He has called us to.
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