Treating People as Evangelistic Targets?

Christians don’t like to make people ‘targets for evangelism’ whereby we don’t care about people but are simply trying to impress others, earn God’s favour, or convince ourselves of the truth of the gospel – rather, we want to love the person. Therefore, we seek to make sure that we’re not using people in order to be able to do our evangelistic duty.

Tell me if my reasoning breaks down here:

– Jesus didn’t treat people as ‘targets for evangelism’ – he loved them as people. He knew they were precious people, made in the image of God.

– Jesus started conversations about ordinary things with the deliberate intention of going on to speak about spiritual things (the woman at the well in John 4 seems like an obvious example of this).

– Starting conversations about ordinary things with the deliberate intention of going on to speak about spiritual things does not equal treating people as ‘targets for evangelism’ or mean that Jesus did not love them as people. In fact, he wanted them to hear spiritual truth because he cared so deeply about them.

– Therefore, we too can start conversations about ordinary things with the deliberate intention of going on to speak about spiritual things, while loving the people we are speaking to and not treating them as mere ‘targets for evangelism’.

(this doesn’t mean that everyone who deliberately sets out to speak about spiritual things with someone they know or with a stranger loves that person as a person. They could be doing so in order to impress others, earn God’s favour, or But since Jesus They could be doing so in order to impress others, earn God’s favour, or But since Jesus started conversations about ordinary things with the deliberate intention of going on to speak about spiritual things, doesn’t that means it’s at least possible for us to do it too?)

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