“Evangelism.” For many Christians, this is the scariest word in our Christianese vocabulary. Many put their best foot forward to avoid evangelism in their own life, when in fact we should be putting our best foot forward to fulfill it. I believe more believers would put their best foot forward when sharing their faith if they had a more accurate view of what “evangelism” was, is, and should be. It seems as though many believers’ view of evangelism is off-base, rigid, yet biblical. Interesting characteristics huh? Biblical, yet off-base? Yes. And this is because we’ve narrowed down the definition of evangelism to either what we’ve seen from others or what we choose to make it. Let me explain. When you think of evangelism, what do you think of? Do you think of the man standing on the box in downtown screaming at people, telling them to repent or they’re going to hell? Or do you think of the man on television crying and begging for your money? Do you think of those people with shaved heads at the airport handing out tracts and flowers? Do you think of that “Holy Roller” at work who only talks about Jesus and everyone avoids him or her. Although none of these methods of evangelism are biblically wrong per se, they are not THE definition of evangelism. I’d like you, just for the remainder of this blog, to take whatever definition you have in your mind about evangelism and put it in your pocket.
I hear many reasons why people don’t “evangelize” and share their faith regularly. Here are some of the reasons.
“I don’t have the gift of evangelism.”
“I don’t know enough about the Bible.”
“What if they ask me a question I can’t answer? Then I’ll feel really dumb.”
“I don’t want to be ‘that guy/girl’ at work everyone avoids.”
“People will just see Jesus by the way I live my life. I don’t have to say anything. They’d rather see a sermon than hear one right?”
We can come up with some pretty good reasons and I have to admit that I’ve used a couple of those in the past. But in all actuality, as valid as our feelings of fear may be, they really aren’t good reasons. But I also believe that if you and I change the way we see evangelism, we will see just how easy and natural it is. I also believe that when you and I begin to see evangelism accurately, we will begin to get excited about it. You may be thinking, “yeah right!” But hang with me, you’ll see. So we begin by defining evangelism in it’s purest form that is relevant in today’s culture.
So what is evangelism? Evangelism is very, very simple. Evangelism is the Christ-centered person sharing his or her life with those around them. Evangelism is not necessarily shouting at people, repelling people at work or at the grocery store, or handing out tracts. Now, those are not biblically wrong. Many people have come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior through the man or woman screaming on the box downtown, so don’t be quick to judge. But evangelism in it’s simplest form is you, the Christ-centered person, sharing your life with those around you. That’s it. I know it sounds too simple, but it is that simple. We like to complicate evangelism and make it into something we cannot achieve because deep down we don’t want to achieve it. We make it IMpossible when it ISpossible. And not only is it possible, but Jesus made it possible so that we could reach the lost.
Evangelism is the Christ-centered person sharing life with those around him/her.
A Christ-centered person, on the outside, may look a lot like the world, but the way he/she operates does not. It is undeniable. It is unmistakable. The Christ-centered person is different and it is obvious. The Christ-centered person is like the Harley Davidson of motorcycles. Have you ever been at a red light and saw two motorcycles, in which only one was a Harley? They look similar; I mean, they’re both motorcycles, which means they have a gas tank and two wheels. But the sound the Harley makes…wow. It is unmistakable. It is obvious. You can hear the Harley coming a mile away. You can be blind-folded and know there’s a Harley next to you. Motorcycle? Yes. Ordinary? No way. A Christ-centered person is different and everyone knows it because you see the world differently, you love & respect your enemies, you pray for people, you encourage people, and when they ask you why you’re different, you tell them it’s because Jesus Christ changed your life. They not only hear your response verbally, but they see your response practically. The best tool for evangelism is not a tract, but your very life. If Christianity was illegal, would you be arrested and charged with no questions asked? I ask myself this question at least once a week. It’s a good gauge.
“If Christianity was illegal, would you be arrested and charged with no questions asked?”
So what is Jesus calling you to do in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19).
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,…”
Jesus is calling you to make an intentional effort to not only live a Christ-centered life, but to “go” and share it with others unashamedly. Listen, fulfilling the Great Commission is not only about others’ spiritual growth but your own. If there’s no “GO,” there’s no “GROW.” You will not grow spiritually if you are not fulfilling the Great Commission because the Great Commission is the very heart of Jesus Christ.
The church that adopts the Great Commission adopts the very heart of Jesus.
The church that adopts the Great Commission adopts the very mission of Jesus.
So what if you choose to see the Great Commission as “Mission Impossible” for you, instead of “Mission ISpossible”?
We become a member of a local club seeking our own needs to be met.
We become a member of an organization in our community that is self-driven and not the God-driven person that afects the community for Jesus.
Our community remains in spiritual limbo.
The young man/woman, the widowed man/woman, the addicted man/woman, the single parent, the abused spouse, the depressed & suicidal, and the misdirected continue to function without hope.
Your community around you will begin to lose hope that God truly loves them because if God’s own people won’t reach out to them, then why would He?
Jesus is calling you to leave your luggage at the cross. Your reasons and excuses for not sharing your faith. He is calling you to leave your luggage at the cross so you can “GO” and make disciples. Will you leave your comfort and security at the cross today for the sake of the eternally dying? Or will you pack your suitcase, remain stagnant in your walk with Jesus, and watch the world around you decay? Make a decision now about what you’re going to do. There’s nothing to think about, just go.