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Tina Waldrom | Evangelism in Australia

Tina Waldrom is the host of the Win Win Evangelism Podcast and the director of Evangelism in Australia. She loves to equip believers and churches for evangelism. On today’s podcast we talk about how Aussies do not want anyone to shove religion down their throat but they are open to having spiritual conversations. You will be blessed as you learn about what God is doing on the continent “down under.”

Learn more about Tina Waldrom: https://evangelisminaustralia.com/ 


Evangelist Daniel King (00:00):
Welcome to the Evangelism Podcast. I’m Daniel King and I’m excited about telling people about Jesus. Today I have a very special guest with me from Australia, all the way from down under Dr. Tina Waldrom. Thank you for being on the Evangelism podcast.

Tina Waldrom (00:18):
Thanks Daniel. It’s a great pleasure to be on your show.

Evangelist Daniel King (00:22):
Alright, we have just finished recording an interview for your podcast, which is called the Win-Win Evangelism Podcast. Tell me about how you got started doing an evangelism podcast.

Tina Waldrom (00:39):
Evangel. That is a great question. Well, before the Evangelism podcast was almost three decades of evangelism ministry. So I’ve worked with local churches and evangelistic organizations and then I kind of had stepped out to start my own organization as such evangelism in Australia. And one of the things that I felt the Lord speaking to us about was a podcast. And I’ve got to say, Daniel, I’ve never been a person that listened to podcasts up until that stage. And I was like, what on earth is this and how do I go about communicating through that medium? So that’s how it came about with the attempt to do the same as I’ve always done, try to equip the everyday believer to share their faith with the world around them. So yeah, had to learn the whole craft. And now we’re three years in weekly podcast. Absolutely love it.

Evangelist Daniel King (01:39):
Now, if you listen to my Evangelism podcast, I encourage you to go and subscribe to Dr. Tina’s Evangelism podcast because if you like mine, I know you’re going to like hers. We have the same heart for evangelism now you are in Australia and your focus is on training the body of Christ on how to share their faith. And so talk to me a little bit about the spiritual atmosphere in Australia and why you feel it’s so important to equip the church in Australia in evangelism.

Tina Waldrom (02:22):
Yeah, that’s a great question. I think like most Western worlds, a lot of people, the majority of people statistics show us in Australia are not interested in attending church. It’s pretty hard trying to get your regular secular Aussie into church, Daniel. And so my question is always, well, how do we move the church into the community? It’s a very biblical illiterate society that we live in now. How do we get the church there and how do we win the most people to Jesus? How do we get the most people to hear about Jesus? The answer for me is to equip every person that follows Jesus and to give them ways that are natural. And could I say easy? Because if Jesus said go and make disciples, he must have thought that everybody could do that. So trying to uncomplicated it, trying to make it a way that people can see this is doable.

Jesus thought this was doable, and so give them the skills to do that. So yeah, that’s the climate. And pretty much in Australia also Daniel, we have what’s called the tall poppy syndrome, whereas if someone’s really good at something, the Australian culture wants to pull those people down. We want everybody on the same level and we want everyone to feel like you are my mate, you’re my mate, my friend. So talk to me like that. Don’t talk down to me. Don’t come across superior in any way. So we like to have those discussions about how we can do that, how we can land it best in the Australian culture.

Evangelist Daniel King (04:13):
Now, I was looking at your website, it’s found@evangelisminaustralia.com, and you have a variety of resources there. Tell me a little bit about what people can find on your website and how you train people in evangelism and how you coach people who have a heart for evangelism.

Tina Waldrom (04:38):
Yeah, so basically our podcast is a fantastic free gift for people weekly. They can hear amazing interviews exactly like your podcast, and we are trying to ground it to the everyday believer all the time of how they can share their faith. But also we have online courses. So our most, well-known course on mission with god.com is a course that has four modules that people can go through basically to share their faith. And there’s a free sample for that course. In fact, you can go to on mission with god.com/free sample and you can see how it looks, the platform that the learning is on, so to speak. So yeah, brilliant stuff. And it’s all outlined there for you about what you can learn, but we certainly can make it easier for you. We can make it doable. We can give you tips that you go, oh yeah, absolutely, I can do that. So very relational, very personable in the approach. Yeah, thank you for asking.

Evangelist Daniel King (05:41):
Now, you have been involved in evangelism for many years now, but how did you first get started? How did you first develop this passion for evangelism?

Tina Waldrom (05:56):
Another great question. I met Jesus in the United States of all places. I’m actually call myself a missionary to Australia. I met Jesus in California in San Diego in 1992, and I went to church as much as I could go. It was such a game changer for me to realize that God was real, such an incredible blessing. And on a Sunday night, I would go to this church in Mira Mesa and the pastor did this series on evangelism, and he started talking about this thing in the Bible called an evangelist, which was all new to me. And as he was talking about that for a number of weeks, I just knew that I knew Daniel, that God had called me to be this thing, like share Jesus with other people and equip people to do that. I just knew that I wanted to do it in a certain way. So that’s really how it all came about. And in hindsight, you see that as the calling of God. I didn’t really know that then, but then I just walked that out and I’m just passionate. Every day I’ll wake up just thinking, oh, how can I equip someone to share their faith? How can I share my faith? So yeah, just love it. I’ve been arrested by the Holy Spirit.

Evangelist Daniel King (07:24):
Now, I noticed that you completed your doctorate of ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary, which is a great seminary there in California. Tell me a little bit about your dissertation or the project you did to graduate, and what did you learn about evangelism through that process?

Tina Waldrom (07:49):
Yeah, so that was a hard one. I really had to work through what specifically could I write about, it needed to be practical. I ended up doing a lot of research around my area of the church that I attend and how we can best engage with society. But then I articulated that into how do we reach people that are spiritual, but not so much wanting to know about Christianity but wanting a spiritual conversation. And so I love interior design and interior decorating. So I came up with a course so to speak, that people would go to over five or six weeks, they travel around to beautifully styled homes. It was really pitched at women. Not to say that guys aren’t into this, but women, some of us just love it. And you would go to different homes and you would go to a space in the home.

Let’s take the kitchen. And you’d talk about, I would have a stylist there talking about how you style a kitchen, how do you design a kitchen? But then I would talk about the angle of the kitchen is the heart of the home. And so I would have a spiritual teaching on the heart and heart issues to engage with these pre believes, let’s call them that would be there. And so I just loved every bit of it because so many people are interested in a spiritual conversation, not so much the Christian conversation. So putting the tools there for that space of the journey that they’re into. Then there was other areas of the home also. So yeah, that’s what I wrote on. I loved it. Love fuller, love it, love it, love it.

Evangelist Daniel King (09:28):
Now let’s say that a pastor heard about you and called you and said, Dr. Tina, I want my congregation to be better at sharing their faith and to have a heart for evangelism. What would you go and offer that church and tell that congregation that would help them to reach people for Jesus?

Tina Waldrom (09:53):
Yeah. Well, I don’t think it’s not information that you wouldn’t share or I wouldn’t share. And over the years I’ve learned that sometimes we can go in to congregations or you can say to a pastor years they’ll come and do something for a weekend. Actually, the real life change is when it’s consistent. So it’s more like, let’s not do an evangelism seminar, but let’s plan out maybe a six month or yearly plan where people are consistently getting resource and encouragement to share their faith. I think it was Bill Hybels years ago that said, every church has a high value of evangelism, but it’s actually, it’s not actualized, it’s not outworked. Of course, we all want to have encouraged people to evangelism, but we don’t get them to do that because they lose heart or they’re not receiving that consistent encouragement. So it’s more about putting weekly things in throughout a year or over the years that keeps that value outworked highly all the time rather than a, so that’s the conversation. That’s the conversation really. That’s the baseline, I would say. Yeah.

Evangelist Daniel King (11:17):
Talk to me a little bit more about Australia. What are some of the unique challenges and opportunities for reaching people in Australia?

Tina Waldrom (11:31):
Yeah, great question. So what are the challenges? Well, one of them, what I said to you, Aussies, just don’t give a rip about church, to be quite honest. And so the challenge is like never before, how do we get the church into the community? I actually think that Covid gave us some great insight to what God is doing in our nation. We saw the church become highly engaged with the community and pastors everywhere that I was talking to were so excited. They were saying, oh, our people are totally engaged in the community all the time, months and months ago on Melbourne, where I live was the most locked down city in the world. So we were locked down forever and couldn’t do anything. I saw it as a blessing and was praising Jesus in the right way. Of course, it was tragic, but the church continued to, because they couldn’t go into the four walls of the church, they stayed outside in their communities and they reached people for Jesus.

So the challenge is now, I believe Daniel, is that our churches are back open, that we can slip back into that about I love churches, but we’ve got to continue to keep the focus into the community. We’ve got to encourage that going forward. So that’s the challenge and the opportunity to be quite frank, is that there are great opportunities out there. If people are up for a conversation, people are up for a spiritual conversation. It’s not that people don’t want to talk about spiritual things anymore. It’s wide open in my country. So it’s more the upskilling of the everyday person to be able to share their faith in ways that can connect with the Australian society or ways that connect with the United States culture there or wherever you are. But in Western society, there’s definitely an openness never before.

Evangelist Daniel King (13:27):
So how do you start a conversation with someone who says, I don’t care about church. I’m not religious, but I want to be a spiritual person. How would you start that conversation?

Tina Waldrom (13:41):
Yeah, so I love sharing my experience, but I love sharing it in a way that provokes a question. So I don’t want to impose my experience. I want to share my experience and ask people to engage with it. So I’ll share an experience that, oh my gosh, I had all these coincidences happen in my life and my worldview actually is a Christian worldview, and I’m convinced that this is God moving. I’m convinced that he is real and really alive. And then I would just ask the question, what’s your own thoughts about God doesn’t need to be the Christian God, in my mind, I’m just asking the question, what’s your own thoughts about God or spiritual things? I’m always trying to gather information from people so that I know them more so that I know what’s going on in their head so that I can keep engaging. I’m big on trying to keep people on a journey with people. I’m big on discipleship. I want to actually go on a journey with people in the world that Jesus has placed me and I want to walk with them. And over time, they see Christ revealed in my life. I mean, I’m discipling people now. They just don’t know they’re being discipled, but they’re seeing Jesus all the time. So yeah, hope that answers your question.

Evangelist Daniel King (15:05):
And what would you say to encourage a believer who maybe has a heart for evangelism but has never been bold enough to start one of these conversations? What would you say to encourage them to look for ways to start a conversation?

Tina Waldrom (15:24):
Yeah, what I would say is every person, every person is not the person for the conversation. I would say that God is at work. God is at work in people’s lives, and we need to perceive where he’s at work and then engage. For example, sometimes you can have a conversation and you can sense, oh, there’s an ease and it’s natural. Now for me to ask this question and it feels natural, but there’s times where you go, oh, it just feels like this is a brick wall here. And it would be totally awkward if I mentioned something about Jesus. And I would say at that moment, for myself, I actually don’t say anything in that conversation. I’m looking for those places where God is already at work in people’s lives where I’m coming along and building on something that’s gone on their life in the past, and that’s where I engage.

So in my mind, there’s people in my world that I’m engaging with and we’re just building a friendship, me and them or Jesus and them and me. And then there’s people where there’s already work. That’s the holy Spirit’s done in their life, and that’s more open. And so I’ll add a few more seeds, and then there’s next people that are ready for me to say, oh gosh, a lot. Have you ever thought about asking Jesus into your life? So it’s perceiving where God is at work. It’s assuming that he’s the great evangelist, and I’m really just coming along and working with him or partnering with him. It makes it a lot easy for all of us, I think.

Evangelist Daniel King (17:05):
Amen. We’re not doing it alone. God is on our side. Well, Tina Waldrom, thank you so much for being on the Evangelism Podcast with me. It’s such a great blessing to meet you and to hear about what God is doing in Australia. He’s working here in the United States and down under as well. And so if you have an interest in evangelism, particularly if you’re from Australia, I encourage you to go to the website evangelism and australia.com and you can learn more about evangelism from Dr. Tina Waldrom there. Thank you so much for being on the Evangelism podcast.

Tina Waldrom (17:50):
Thanks, Daniel. It’s been a great pleasure. Thank you.

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