Home Outreach Leaders Articles for Outreach & Missions 8 Evangelism Lessons from a Former Lesbian You’ll Never Forget

8 Evangelism Lessons from a Former Lesbian You’ll Never Forget

5. How to evangelize: Be plain

Several times, Butterfield pleaded with Christians to quit acting like we had it all together, starting with the first prayer she heard that made an impression on her:

He prayed a prayer that asked for forgiveness of sin, and not just a general prayer but one with specifics—Ken prayed for forgiveness for his carelessness of speech, for example, and these made me think of myself. Forgetting to bring a meal to someone…

Churches need to share not only their resources, but their needs: ‘Please pray for me in my lust; please pray for me in my bitterness, I’ve never forgiven so and so’…

We would like to know that there are people who struggle with hard things: We’re all cleaned up, but don’t buy it…

Non-Christians need to see that we are not people who’ve gotten it together, but who’ve fallen apart at the cross of Christ.

6. How to evangelize: Be philanthropic

One of Butterfield’s observations regarding evangelism was the need for hospitality. She describes that in her experience with the LGBT community, she learned the value of getting to know people on a raw level by opening her house with her partner:

We need to be willing to take some risks. Ken and Flow had me in their house. And in their house, we talked frankly about sexuality and politics. You have to think about whether those are conversations that might contaminate your world.

With small children, we have to be careful. But I don’t know that we’re doing our children a great benefit if we claim that the Christian life is really easy… I don’t know that we’ve been a great blessing to our children when we’ve sheltered them from some of these things. My friends from Syracuse had me into their homes and their children nurtured me and taught me a lot about life… As you’re concerned about influence issues, work that out, but don’t think that the big sin is the problem that other people are going to track in through your front door…

Professors and pastors, you could really be off with your community because you only see them when they’re cleaned up… Once a week, our home was opened. People would just tell me what was going on.

Christians, we need to bring those we consider “dirty” in the door—we need not fear “contamination” because we are the contaminants as well, and we have a remedy through Christ.

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nicholasmcdonald@churchleaders.com'
Nicholas McDonald is husband to lovely Brenna, father to Owen and Caleb, M.Div student at Gordon Conwell Theological seminary and youth/assistant teaching pastor at Carlisle Congregational Church. He graduated with his Bachelors in Communication from Olivet Nazarene University, studied literature and creative writing at Oxford University, and has spoken internationally at camps, youth retreats, graduations, etc. He blogs about writing, preaching and the arts at www.Scribblepreach.com, which has been featured on The Gospel Coalition, Knowlovelive.org and Challies.com. He currently resides in South Hamilton, MA.