I’ve never been interested in Evangelism. The word itself seemed so strange and unattractive. What does it even mean
A peculiar proper noun – always spelt with a capital ‘E’. And anyway, Evangelism was never for me. I’m an Usher, always in church with a big smile and a bigger heart, ready to serve.
Evangelism is for the Evangelists – the people on the street corners with the church flyers in one hand and megaphone in the other. That’s Evangelism – and I shudder at the thought. But I’m a worker, and an Usher at that. That’s my ministry and that’s my passion – and to be honest, alongside all the other good things I do with the church, I think I do enough for God already.
Have you ever thought something along these lines? Well I have and until recently I always did. I’ve never seen the importance in talking about Christ to someone who is not already saved. (And that is what Evangelism is in simple words – making Christ known to someone who doesn’t already know Him.)
Call me simple, but Christianity to me meant praying, reading my bible, going to church, and praying some more. I knew we prayed about a revival happening, but I never thought I had to do anything about it.
Evangelism, witnessing, sharing your faith – it’s all the same thing, but what does God say about it?
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
– Mark 16:15
It doesn’t get any clearer than that. Jesus Himself told us to evangelise. For those who have studied literature, we are often told that a man’s last words are often his most important. How much more so Jesus Christ Himself? Witnessing was the last command Jesus gave us as His followers, and yet it is the one we most often neglect.
And why? We all have our reasons.
Fear of rejection, fear of people, fear of persecution.
Too busy, too shy, too tired.
Not knowing what to say, not knowing how to say it and not knowing who would listen.
Sadly, sometimes we even convince ourselves that we are witnessing already. We deceive ourselves into believing that because we are Christians – and such strong, faithful Christians at that – the unbelievers will see our good deeds and will have no option but to turn to God in repentance.
It’s quite sad that many of the scriptures that support the need to speak to people about Christ are now used as a defence to why evangelism is obsolete.
Matt 5:16 is reduced to a works-based rhetoric, in which souls are saved with a smile.
Matt 9:37 is minimised to mean the lack of people serving within a local church.
And we cling to Christian jargon, or ‘Christianese’, that no one really understands to support how we are able to be the hands and feet of Christ without ever moving from our seats in church.
But what does the Bible say about sharing the gospel?
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
– Romans 10:14
As I said earlier, I’m fairly newly to evangelism, but I can honestly say I have never won a soul with a smile!
The reality is we must speak. Me, you, every single person who proclaims to love, know and believe in Jesus must talk to people about Him.
Thankfully there is more than one way to witness. Some favour door-to-door, others relish open air preaching and some simply create a conversation. In the same way God has created us with multi-faceted personalities, He has by His Spirit enabled us to reach the lost through different methods and by utilising various platforms. The ways are limitless and subject only to each person’s preference.
But what if we still prefer to do nothing?
The simple truth is that God expects you to evangelise and failure to witness is contrary to what God has said in His Word. God calls us watchmen, therefore we need to carry out our duty. I stand to be corrected, but I can find no verse in the bible that supports being silent about Christ. He has placed each of us in specific places in order to be effective witnesses to those in our sphere of influence. And it doesn’t matter what we think we are already doing for God, obedience is better than sacrifice, so neglecting evangelism cannot be excused.
So what do we do?
As long as we live and breathe on earth, we should be sharing the gospel with those who do not yet believe in Jesus and this mission only expires when our bodies do.
As I said, you can never do ‘too much’ for God. Christ made an investment in us when He died on the Cross and like any sensible investor, He expects a return on that investment!
Three Points to Remember:
1. Not all of us are called to be an Evangelist but all of us are called to be a witness
2. Anything or anyone that convinces you not to witness is from the devil.
3. Separate fear from excuse. God will help our weaknesses, not our excuses.
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Father, I repent for the times I have neglected your work. I am sorry for ignoring your command to witness to those who do not know you. Please help me to become effective in sharing the gospel. Holy Spirit please give me the opportunity to speak about Jesus to someone today.