Don’t let the common philosophy of “relationship evangelism” steal your zeal. This is the idea that you must befriend people and build a relationship before witnessing to them. If you believe that, consider two questions. First, who are the hardest people to witness to? Isn’t it your unsaved relatives? Why then would we want to wait until we build relationships with people before witnessing to them? If we witness to strangers and offend them, we lose nothing. But if we have developed a good relationship with a person and offend him, we risk losing that relationship. Building relationships actually makes it harder to witness. The truth is, we often will use any excuse not to confront people with the offense of the cross, and building a rapport with them is less threatening than sharing the truth of the gospel.
The second question is, what happens to people if they die while you are taking the time to build relationships with them? There is no nice way to put it—they will go to hell for eternity if they die in their sins. They will end up in the lake of fire, so how can you even consider taking that risk?
So make it easier on yourself. Witness to strangers. Make it a way of life to witness to people you don’t know, and if you must build a relationship with them, feel at liberty to build for 3 or 4 minutes until the relationship grows, then share the truth, as you should.
1 Thessalonians 2:8 So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us.