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The Accidental Evangelist

Last month I took a plane trip to visit my family in Indiana. On the flight over, I decided to use the three-hour plane trip to catch up on my leadership training. One of my assignments was to read a few chapters in Lee Strobel’s The Case for Faith. No big deal, right? Quietly read hoping I don’t look like a cheesy person looking for a conversation starter. I don’t read “for show.” My plan was to hurry through the chapter, and then dive into some pleasure reading.

I was seated next to the window with a Native American woman from the Pacific Northwest in the middle seat and a grandma returning home on the aisle. I can’t remember how the conversation started, but we began talking about Christianity. The Native American woman was raised with a combination of Christianity and tribal religion from I believe her grandfather’s side; she was a mix of at least two different tribes. She was critical of the denomination in which she’d been raised and how white people, including churches/Christians treated her people.

I mostly listened. At one point I mentioned the chapter I was reading, I kid you not, it was “Objection #7, Church History is Littered with Violence and Oppression.” It’s a candid chapter acknowledging some of her objections, and I shared a few bits with her. I am not great at sharing the gospel but did a super-short summary of how I believe salvation is through Christ alone. I also shared how I rely on God and try to serve him the best I can (or something like that).

In conclusion, I have no idea if any of our conversation impacted her or not, but I pray that it did. Same with the woman in the aisle seat who was relatively quiet. I didn’t really get her story.

Have you ever been an “Accidental Evangelist”?

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About Gretchen E K Engel

Chemical engineer by day, spec fiction writer by night

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