Spurgeon on Hospitality and Evangelism
…soul winners, try after sermon to talk to strangers. The preacher may have missed the mark, but you need not miss it; or the preacher may have struck the mark, and you can help to make the impression deeper by a kind word.
I recollect several persons joining the church who traced their conversion to the ministry in the Surrey Music Hall, but who said it was not that alone, but another agency co-operating therewith. They were fresh from the country, and some good man – I knew him well, I think he is in heaven now – met them at the gate, spoke to them, said he hoped they had enjoyed what they had heard, heard their answer, asked them if they were coming in the evening, said he would be glad if they would drop into his house to tea; they did, and he had a word with them about the Master.
The next Sunday it was the same, and at last, those whom the sermons had not much impressed, were brought to hear with other ears, till by-and-by, through the good old man’s persuasive words, and the good Lord’s gracious work, they were converted to God.
There is a fine hunting ground here, and indeed in every large congregation, for you who really want to do good. How many come into this house every morning and evening with no thought about receiving Christ! Oh, if you would all help me, you who love the Master, if you would all help me by speaking to your neighbours who sit near to you how much might be accomplished!
Never let anybody say, “I came to the Tabernacle three months, and nobody spoke to me;” but do, by a sweet familiarity, which ought always to be allowable in the house of God, seek with your whole heart to impress upon your friends the truth which I can only put into the ear, but which God may help you to put into the heart.
Preaching is important.
Public evangelism and exhortation is important.
But it’s often our kindness and personal relationships that helps people cross the line into faith.
[Related post: Do Your First-Time Guests Expect to Be Known?]