Are you an evangelist? Do you get excited about letting others in on Jesus’s fun and fascinating friendship? Does the word evangelism conjure up scenes of awkward conversations resulting in rejection and anger? Does evangelism seem inapplicable and foreign to you, assigned to those who pass out bibles in some country half way around the world? Are you an animal lover? Do you enjoy chatting with others about pets? Why all the questions? Do pets and evangelism have anything to do with each other?
One of the ways to make evangelism fun, creative, unintimidating, and close to home is through animals. Tools can help others understand what it’s like to be Jesus’s friend. Using animals as “tools” is a great way to talk about Jesus’s friendship in an nonthreatening and conversational manner.
Ephesians 5:16 says, “make the most of every opportunity.” Sometimes opportunities present themselves as a pair of two feet at the conversational end of a leash. Making conversation illuminates Christ’s light to others. As odd as it seems, conversations about our furry, four-footed, best friends can naturally flow into conversations about Jesus. You never know when a question like, “So why did you name your dog Judah,” or a comment like, “I’d be so lonely without Buddy” might lead to.
Opportunities to talk about Jesus don’t have to happen at the park; they can happen on trails and in barns. Chatting with a barn buddy, a girl was able to talk about how God’s creativity is reflected in horses. Her friend was entirely willing and open to engage in conversation because she loved everything about horses.
If you are open to conversation, adore animals, and want others to have a relationship with Jesus that is as awesome as yours, then pets and evangelism have everything to do with each other.