Someone recently told me “We must earn the right to be heard.” As I pondered this statement, something didn’t sit right with me. As much as I tried to understand what he really meant I couldn’t help but think that according to the Scripture, Jesus earned that right for me as well. We preach in the authority and righteousness He earned through His life and death.I don't even know what that means. The rest of the article sounds a lot like some version of knocking on doors that starts with an inherit right to do and say whatever you want because you are right. Who recognizes this authority? If you're talking to someone and they don't care about Jesus, they aren't going to hear you. That's not the model of how numbers grew in the Bible, either. There are instances sited of being up front, but there are other, non-scriptural sources about the growth of the church. "These Christians, see how they love each other." Today's New Testament lesson is the appointing deacons to care for the needs of the marginalized in the community.
The thing of it is, I've found, people don't care if you're "right" if you don't care about them. And from the article, what does "introducing the gospel" mean? I think there's a lot more to Good News than asking people if they "know Jesus" which is how I interpret the author talking about "sharing the Gospel." Sharing the Gospel is a lot more about caring for and loving people than trying to bring about some kind of conversion experience. Being clear (particularly when asked) that you are doing whatever because you've found Good News in the Gospel story and are led to help others is important. But requiring people to hear your Jesus talk before you help them isn't loving.
I think that being truly in relationship also means that you're honest about who and what you are, though hopefully not with ulterior motives. Part of building relationships truly is sharing your life. I spend a few hours each week in a bar in New York and the regulars there know that I'm training to be a priest. And I've invited some to be church with me. If I started every (or any) conversation with a new person with an invitation to Church or something about Jesus I wouldn't have any friends there.