What just came into your head as you read that word?
A picture of a fruit bowl?
A picture of a bunch of bananas hanging from a tree?
Someone slipping up over a banana skin?
Words are powerful things and can create all kinds of images in our minds. If you’ve ever played the game ‘word association’ where someone gives you a word and you have to say the first thing that comes into your head, you’ll know it can be fun.
But what comes into your head first if I said ‘evangelism’?
Maybe fear, guilt, rejection, difficult?
If you’ve been around a good church for sometime you’ve probably heard the phrase ‘it’s time to ‘do’ evangelism or ‘it’s time to get involved with evangelism’
Rightly so, as members of our local church we are encouraged to ‘get involved with evangelism’ or join our Church evangelism team and ‘do’ evangelism. The thing is, in my experience, whilst this ‘call to action’ might move a few people to get involved, the majority recoil and choose to let the few ‘do’ the evangelism rather than rolling up their sleeves and get involved themselves.
The issue is, a lot of people don’t get involved with evangelism because they feel they ‘can’t DO it’. They don't feel confident enough.This is mainly because of their own preconceived ideas and misconceptions of what evangelism really is.
Is evangelism just about ‘doing’?
Being out there on the streets handing out the tracts, then rushing home as soon as our bundle is finished happy that our job is done and hoping that at least one person will read one?
Or being happy because we seemed to ‘win the argument’ with that obnoxious guy we met on the street?
(side note: its not about winning arguments, it's about reaching souls!)
To answer that question, we need to ask this question:
What is evangelism?
Is it ‘doing’ something or is it about being ‘somebody’ - or both?
The word evangelism in the Greek means: the announcement or proclamation of the gospel, of the good news. So evangelism means sharing the good news and leading people into a relationship with Jesus
In the gospels, when Jesus turned up it was ‘good news’. Good news for the sick, good news for the downcast, good news for the sinners, good news for all those who followed Him. We might not all be evangelists but if we are followers of Jesus we are all witnesses to what he has done for us, and is doing in our lives. We ourselves are called to be good news!
Our personal witness should be integral to how we lead our lives and to who we are in Christ.
Both our lives and our voices should declare the good news!
The key to our own personal evangelism, sharing of the good news, the gospel, as discussed in the two previous blogs, is this... that we are to be in constant fellowship with the Lord, and it is out of our relationship with Him that, not only do people see that we are different, not only does God open up opportunities for us - but we become more aware of those opportunities as the Holy Spirit leads us.
This doesn’t mean however that we ‘sit at home and wait for the phone to ring’ just waiting for opportunities. We need to be praying for opportunities to share the gospel, and then go out and look for them!
We are called to be witnesses of Jesus Christ. The key word is ‘BE’. It’s about us ‘being’, then out of our ‘being’ our ‘doing’ will naturally evolve. If we are being who God calls us to be, filled with the Holy Spirit, bearing the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, and seeking to use the gifts of the Spirit, then evangelism, sharing the good news, should come naturally to us.
Evangelism is not so much about ‘doing something to somebody’ but more about ‘being somebody to somebody’? We shouldn’t see people as ‘projects to be conquered’ but as ‘people needing rescue’! It’s not so much about us ‘doing’ good news but more about us ‘being good news’ - not just by our actions but by verbally sharing the gospel.
So in essence, evangelism isn’t about ‘doing good news’ but ‘BEING good news’ as we share the gospel verbally AND live it out. What we say should be backed up by the way we live, and the way we live should be enhanced by what we say.
The way we live should help to open the doors to speak hope and life into peoples lives by sharing the gospel with them.
The word evangelism may engender the words fear or guilt to come to mind, but it may also cause us to shout: HELP!
Actually, ‘help’ maybe a good place to start. We have many promises in the bible that declare that God is with us, for us, not against us, and that he will equip us and empower us – we need not fear.
God is willing to help us.
All through the book of Acts we read how God enabled men and women to tell others about Jesus. We often read how they were filled with the Holy Spirit and with boldness.
Boldness calls for us to share the gospel and stand up for it.
Evangelism is not just for a select few, but is the call on the life of every Christian. I meet many people who struggle to share their faith, and that’s why I put together a short report ‘5 keys to becoming a confident soul winner’ - you can down load your FREE copy here!
Is your life a life of Evangelism, a life of ‘good news’?
Ask the Lord today to fill you with His Spirit, to give you boldness, and to give you opportunities to BE and SHARE the good news!