Sound familiar? If you're an evangelical then you've probably had something approaching this experience. Yet is it fair, if I may employ the crudest of metaphors, to expect every Christian to have multiple notches on their evangelistic bed posts? A "close the deal" mentality grips many evangelicals to the extent that they are walking around under a heavy load of condemnation because they believe they are failing as witnesses to Christ in the workplace.
Is every Christian called to "close the deal" evangelism? No; that is a specific duty of the church. In Matthew 28:18-20 Christ says:
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. (ESV)If baptising is not the vocational calling of every Christian (1 Cor. 1:17), isn't it safe to assume that evangelism isn't either? Sure we should be ready to offer a reason for the hope we have and we should know our faith well enough to communicate it (1 Peter 3:15). Sure our conduct should mark us out (Phil. 2:15). Sure God may providentially guide lay Christians into "close the deal" situations (Acts 18:26). But it ain't God's ordinary means. Let's generally just leave "conversions" to the work of the preached word. And another thing, when Mr. Para-Church missionary get's his ecclesiology sorted, then I'll sit down and talk evangelism with him.
PS: In the interests of full disclosure, I shamelessly cribbed the Matt. 28:18-20 insight from Darryl Hart in his astonishing interview with Mark Dever, available for download here.