Recently I had the honor of teaching a workshop on evangelism to a small group of high school students. As I prepared my material for that workshop, I couldn't help but be reminded of the importance of practicing evangelism and seeking ways to personally grow in my personal evangelism as well.
Three important questions surface as we think about evangelism: Who? Why? and How?
The first question seems to be one of the most serious issues. Many have lived decades in the Christian life and never once shared the gospel, let alone their testimony, with an unbeliever. This is completely unacceptable if you believe Jesus was who He said He was.
1. Who should do evangelism?
- It is a command for every Christian, not just clergy or "super Christians" (Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15, Luke 24:44-49, John 20:21, Acts 1:8)
2. Why should we do evangelism?
- It brings glory to God as He uses us (broken people) as instruments in His hands to be a part of His redemptive mission on the earth (Colossians 1:28-29, 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12)
- Eternity is at stake! (Heaven and Hell are literal and eternal places - Matthew 7:13-14, 25:46, Luke 8:11-14
- We are at war (Ephesians 6:10-19, Jude 1:23, James 5:19-20)
- Jesus is the only way to have eternal life (John 3:14-17, 4:13-14, 6:22-59, 65, 11:25, 14:6)
- Your life was designed for Kingdom purposes
- God has prepared good works for you to do: Ephesians 2:10
- You are ambassadors for Christ: 2 Corinthians 5:20
- You are the light of the world: Matthew 5:14-16
2. How do we do evangelism?
Personal evangelism should be regular, intentional, and Christ-like.
- Sow the gospel broadly and constantly (Acts 5:42)
- Action: Leave gospel tracts every where you go
- Action: Never miss an opportunity to share your faith and your story with people who ask.
- You reap a harvest proportionate to the amount you sow (2 Corinthians 9:6)
- If you never share the gospel, how could you ever lead someone to Christ?
- Action: Who do you need to share the gospel with this week?
- The fields are ripe for harvest (John 4:35, Luke 10:2)
- The issue isn't the harvest; the issue is not enough laborers willing to work. Are you?
- Action: Pray Luke 10:2 everyday at 10:02 AM/PM
- Evangelism flows our of your love for God (Matthew 22:37-40)
- Always be ready to give a gentle and respectful reason for your hope in Jesus (1 Peter 3:15)
Imagine what our cities would look like if every Christian demonstrated and proclaimed the gospel on a regular basis! Imagine what our cities would look like if every Christian led at least one person to Christ every year!
It is sobering how many still do not know Jesus yet how passive many Christians are to even share about what they claim to be the most important truth in their life! Ironic, isn't it?
"How much do you have to hate someone to NOT share the gospel?!"
This is a quote from the video below. Please take 5 minutes and listen to the spot on logic of a staunch Atheist who delivers a punch to the gut of every Christian who has never shared the gospel with unbelievers.
Hopefully you're encouraged and challenged to take one step in the direction of practicing personal evangelism for the sake of God's glory and redemption of our cities.
Here are some practical tools I've found helpful in this journey:
- 3 Circles: Life Conversation Guide (also has a great free app for iOS and Andriod)
- Life on Mission book by Dustin Willis (incredibly practical; perfect for group study)
- Practice sharing your story of salvation in 2 minutes or less (Life before Jesus and Life with Jesus today)
- Further Suggested Reading
- Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J.I. Packer
- Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman
- Concentric Circles of Concern by W. Oscar Thompson
- Kingdom First by Jeff Christopherson
- Tell the Truth by Will Metzger
- Pray4EveryHome.com – get a daily email to pray by name for your neighbors!
Questions for Reflection and Study
- What evangelistic rhythms do you have in place right now?
- What rhythms do you need to begin practicing in your school, neighborhood, family, and around friends?
- How can you be more intentional in activities you're already doing?