How are you at evangelism? An evangelist is someone who presents the Gospel to others and leads them to commit their lives to follow Jesus as their Lord and Savior. At my first church John Stott would give a simple outline in the form of an A,B,C, and D as an aid to evangelism: Admit your need of forgiveness as a sinner, Believe that Jesus has met that need by his sacrifice on the Cross, Consider the cost of following him as his disciple, Decide to commit your life to him as your Savior and Lord in a simple prayer.
While I have endeavored to communicate the Gospel in a multitude of ways over the years, e.g. by using Evangelism Explosion, The Four Spiritual Laws etc. I have never felt that I was good at evangelism. I try to be a faithful witness to Christ but I identify with Timothy whom Paul exhorted, “Keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:5). Obviously Timothy, who was timid, fearful and suffered from stomach problems, needed to be urged to be more evangelistic in his ministry. So do I. I too suffer from stomach problems when I have to confront people with making a decision.
The churches that I have served in over the years have not been good at evangelism. We have been good at nurturing and loving people and taking care of them when they faced challenges. We have been good at worship and fellowship. But I believe we have not been good at evangelism. That is why I paid attention to a recent post on the blog of Thom S. Rainer (www.ThomRainer.com) entitled, Ten Reasons Why Many Churches Aren’t Evangelistic. Let me share them with you with my comments added.
- They don’t really believe people need Jesus. Is Jesus just an option not a necessity?
- Evangelism is spiritual warfare. Are we willing to stand for Jesus in the battle for souls?
- It’s hard work. Are we lazy stewards of the Gospel or hard workers?
- Evangelism requires intentionality. It won’t happen by accident.
- Effective evangelism often requires we pray for the opportunities. Begin each day with a prayer that God will bring people in your path where you can be a Gospel witness in word and deed.
- Too many people have too many excuses. Do we leave it to others or assume they know Jesus?
- Too many churches are too busy to do evangelism. Do we have too many good things to do to reach out to others evangelistically?
- Church leaders are not evangelistic. If the pastor, staff, Governing Board members and committee members are not evangelistic, neither will be the rest of the church.
- Many church leaders and members don’t know the needs of their community. Are we aware of our neighbors and their needs?
- Evangelism is counter-cultural. If you want to be a people pleaser, don’t be evangelistic. Our culture hates the gospel that says there is only one Savior.
I am going to renew my efforts to “do the work of an evangelist.” Will you join me? How are you at evangelism? Let me know.