Lifestyle evangelism can start with the clothes on your back

By Mike Wendland
There I was at the ice cream stand the other night, standing in one of two parallel lines waiting my turn for a medium twist.
Directly opposite me was a middle-aged guy wearing a haggard look.
I saw him glance at me a couple of times but didn’t think much until he said “Excuse me… I have to ask. You believe that?” He gestured at my T-shirt.
I was wearing a Christian T-Shirt emblazoned across the front with the words: “In God I trust.”
An ice cream line was the last place on earth I expected to engage in a conversation about Christ but as it turns out, that’s just what happened. We chatted the whole way to the order windows and then continued talking until we finshed our cones.
We talked about salvaton, the Bible and God’s faithfulness. The stranger shared how he was new to town, struggling with debt and discouragement.
He introduced me to his family, waiting in the car for the treats. I introduced him to my wife.
We invited them to church.
Welcome to lifestyle evangelism.
All because I chose to put on a Christian T-shirt after work that day.
They say the average Christian T-shirt is seen by 3,000 people before it’s worn out. I don’t know if that’s true or not but I do know that wearing a Christian T-shirt or jewelry – my wife wears little earrings in the shape of a J for Jesus – has helped me engage dozens of people in conversations about my faith.
Some – like the family at the ice cream stand who did indeed visit our church and are now regular attenders and have even joined a small group – are receptive.
Others – like a pair of punked and pierced teenagers I ran into last week – have sneered and made jokes.
But I do know that the shirt has helped start conversatons and got people thinking about God and His call on their lives. And for those of us who follow Christ, it’s a great way to share the gospel.
The truth of the matter is that we may be the only Bible some people read.
So why not wear a Biblical message?
Christian T-shirts come in a wide variety of styles, colors and creative, attractive designs. Many are very clever and engaging. Most have scripture embedded in the design. All are designed to deliver a spiritual message.
We live in a T-shirt society.
Making a Christian message part of our casual appearance is a powerfully effective way to practce lifestyle evangelism.