Here’s the evangelism scenario we play out in our minds:
I sheepishly go up to someone to share the Gospel and say, “Do you know that God loves you and…”
I am interrupted by an outraged, offended outburst.
“How dare you push your religion on me! I curse you. You and your whole family. I will never talk to you again. I will tell everyone you know that they, too, should never talk to you again. And they won’t. Be ashamed!”
Then they pull out a megaphone: “Look everybody! A radical religious nut!”
That doesn’t happen. People generally don’t have megaphones on them at all times. But here are 10 things to get you to step off the ledge, and step up to share the Gospel.
- Evangelism is most often a process, not a sudden event.
Generally the Holy Spirit works over time in a person’s life. When someone actually receives the Gospel, there is usually much that precedes it, both in circumstances and other believers. (1 Corinthians 3:1-11)
- Evangelism begins with a holy lifestyle - people seeing Jesus shine through you.
The New Testament says nothing about how to “share your faith“, but it says much about honoring Christ in your lifestyle and God opening up doors for you to share the Gospel. (1 Peter 2:12, 1 Peter 4:1-5)
- Evangelism is especially effective when strong relationships are built.
True. I have shared with strangers and friends. Friends know you love them and are often more receptive to what you have to say.
- Apologetics (evidence and reasoning to defend the faith) can be important in penetrating the skepticism of many people today.
Some people will just not know. Some people have only “studied” enough to learn a few “objections” that they believe have no answer. Be ready, but remember you can’t argue someone into the Kingdom. Salvation is the Holy Spirit’s work, no matter how smart you are.
- Once a person sincerely checks out Christianity, it’s only a matter of time before they’ll discover the truth about God.
Let God’s Word speak for itself. It’s like a lion. You don’t need to defend it. Let it out of the cage and it will defend itself.
- Conversion is the work of the Holy Spirit.
Oh, yeah, we said that. Still true. Here is a verse for it! (John 16:7-11)
- Nobody wants to be your “project”.
What is your true motivation for evangelism? People can sense your motives. Don’t make someone a project. Love them with the Gospel.
- There is no substitute for prayer.
For boldness, for the right words, for the Holy Spirit to take control of the person’s heart.
- Unchurched people are often willing to visit a church if they are invited by a friend who has already opened up spiritual issues through personal conversation.
Some people are just waiting for an invite to church. Offer one!
- Christians often need to partner with a church (hopefully their own church!) that offers services or events that are evangelistic in nature.
I share the Gospel in some way/shape/form every sermon. Be a part of offering evangelistic services or events with the church / small group.
- The church must objectively examine how they will be perceived by an unchurched visitor – without altering the message!
Many people have bad thoughts toward the church in general, whether it is from a previous personal experience or an experience heard about second-handed. Our job is to remove any obstacle that may hinder the mission. God, let your glory come down on the church. The only thing that really matters in the church service is You showing up!
Deep breath. Evangelism is commanded and empowered. And it is to be more of a natural thing than some people think.
p.s. - I did say 10-ish, right?