Evangelism. Though it is the means God uses to make Christians (Romans 10:17), for many Christians, evangelism is a strangely intimidating word. In fact, I’d suspect that most Christians (including me) feel inadequate when it comes to the work of evangelism and would likely admit that they are not nearly as committed to that work as they know they should be. How about you? Is there any room for you to grow as an evangelist? In this post, I’d like to offer five simple ways to become more faithful in the work of evangelism.
First, make sure you are walking with Jesus.
The simple fact of the matter is that you will never feel urgency to talk about a Savior that you do not love. Jesus himself told us that apart from him we can do nothing (John 15:5). It is only as we abide in him that we will bear fruit, including the fruit of loving evangelism. Has your evangelistic zeal grown cold? If so, it’s a symptom of a deeper issue – which only a growing love for Jesus will resolve.
Second, learn to pray evangelistically.
“God gives the growth,” says the Apostle (1 Corinthians 3:7). If that is true, one of the most important aspects to the work of evangelism is the work of prayer. Someone once said (if you know the source of the quote, please let me know!), “Before we talk to men about God, we need to be talking to God about men.” Regardless of the source, that’s some really good advice.
One way to grow more faithful in evangelism is to learn to turn your prayers outward. Pray for lost people, asking God to give the growth that comes from the planted seed of the Gospel. If you see cowardice in your life keeping you from sharing the Gospel, confess that cowardice to God as the sin that it is. Pray for boldness and courage to speak up when God opens doors for the Gospel. Pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ who are sharing the Gospel faithfully, that God would strengthen them to stay faithful and that he would graciously grant the gift of faith to those who they are speaking to. Pray that your church will remain focused on the mission of making disciples.
Third, look around you for more natural Gospel opportunities.
Surely the Lord in his wise providence has put a non-Christian or two in your day to day life. Perhaps its one of those cute little sinners living in your home. Maybe it’s an unbelieving spouse or sibling or roommate. It may be a co-worker, a neighbor, a parent at your kids’ school. As you’re praying for them (see point #2), be looking for opportunities to communicate the Gospel in meaningful ways to them. The most effective personal evangelism tends to take place in the context of a meaningful relationship. So, let’s learn to be better stewards of those relationships, looking for opportunities to bring the Gospel into them.
Fourth, get to know some non-Christians.
I truly hope this doesn’t seem like a radical idea to anyone. That Christians should be interested in the lives of non-Christians should not be a point needing much defense. Some of us are far too isolated and we need to be better about getting to know people who live outside our spiritual bubble.
And finally, be ready to speak.
We can be confident that if we are walking with Jesus, praying with evangelistic focus, and engaging with the non-Christians the Lord has put into our lives, God will give us opportunity to speak about Christ. It is worth remembering that God is not embarrassed of his Son and is expressly committed to spreading the news of the Gospel through his people. So Christian, know that he will use you spread the Gospel as you avail yourself to his purposes. He will open doors for to speak of Jesus. And when he does, we need to be ready.
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”…So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:13-15, 17 ESV)