Three of the painful topics that I was asked to speak on in Houston TX this week were "Our Fascination with Fun," "Overcrowded Lifestyles," and "Our Shortage of Personal Evangelism."
These three problems are related. One reason we spend so little time in evangelism is that we're so busy with other things, and one reason we're so busy is that we spend so much time on recreation, entertainment, sports, hobbies, etc.
As busy as we are, we still find the time for a number of activities that are simply "fun," so the excuse that we "don't have time" for personal evangelism, is little more than that: an excuse.
Here is an interesting exercise: TRY TO CALCULATE YOUR ENTERTAINMENT-TO-EVANGELISM RATIO. In other words, how many hours a week do you spend on entertainment as opposed to the hours you spend on evangelism? Is the ratio anywhere near 1-to-1? For most of us, reaching a 2-to-1 ratio would be a significant challenge. Currently, we might be stretching the truth to say that we have a 5-to-1 or even a 10-to-1 comparison between entertainment and evangelism.
Frankly, I have never thought about making this direct comparison before today on the flight back from Houston. This is a ratio that puts our priorities into shocking perspective. How can we say that we don't have the time to share our faith when we spend so many more hours on things that, by everyone's admission, are far less important?
Like it or not, we demonstrate what is really and truly most important to us by two things: how we spend our TIME and how we spend our MONEY. Despite the nice-sounding proclamations of our "principles," it is our checkbooks and our schedule books that tell the truth about our real priorities.
So, in all seriousness, what's your (or your family's) ENTERTAINMENT-TO-EVANGELISM RATIO?
If we calculate this statistic honestly, there is not much way to avoid being embarrassed. But then, embarrassment is not always bad. It can move us to make MUCH-NEEDED CHANGES.