“The gospel came to you because it was heading to someone else. God never intended for your salvation to be an end, but a beginning. God saved you to be a conduit through whom His glorious, life-changing gospel would flow to others.”
Re-read that paragraph. Let that sink in for a moment. The God of the universe has chosen you to be an instrument in His gracious plan to save the world. Maybe that excites you or perhaps it terrifies you. Either way, the truth remains: God’s plan to save the world is accomplished through the personal evangelism His people engage in.
He also said to them, “This is what is written: The Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead the third day, and repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in his name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem.— Luke 24:46–47 CSB
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, I also send you.” — John 20:21 CSB
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf: “Be reconciled to God.” — 2 Corinthians 5:20 CSB
What is evangelism? There are many definitions out there, but a simple definition is this: Evangelism is sharing the message of God’s love for the world through Christ. In other words, Evangelism is the act of verbally sharing with someone what Jesus has done for them to be saved. There are a variety of ways to do this, but at the center of evangelism is the art of connecting with people in a way that helps them see Christ and their need for Him.
But you may be thinking to yourself: “That sounds terrifying. I could never do that! What would I say? What if they get upset or ask me a question I can’t answer? I’ll look so stupid!” These are all understandable concerns. Moreover, you’ve probably seen your fair share of people talk about the message of Jesus in a harsh, judgmental, or self-righteous way. Understandably, you don’t want to be like them.
So, what do you do? First, we need to make it clear: evangelism is a spiritual discipline as much as any other spiritual discipline is, which means it will take work and effort. However, just like any other discipline (spiritual or otherwise), the more you do it, the better you become. You may not naturally think about sharing Jesus with people throughout your day, but here are three reasons why you should:
Because He wants you to have a front row seat to His grace at work to save people.
Because He wants you to experience the joy of sharing His goodness with others.
Because He wants to experience the joy of being stretched by uncomfortable circumstances that force you to face your insecurities.
The fact is, Jesus has commissioned all His followers to be His agents of rescue. You can sit on the side-lines if you want, but you’ll miss out on the growth, progress, and joy that comes from playing the game.
Think about it this way: Imagine you’re a doctor. You and your team recently discovered the cure for cancer–all cancer. Would you keep this to yourself? Of course not. You would do everything you could to get this cure into the hands of as many people as you could. Why? Because human lives are at stake and you’ve just discovered the very thing than can save millions.
Now, if we would share the cure for cancer to save human lives, then why wouldn’t we share the cure for sin to save those very same lives? You see, we’re all infected with the spiritual cancer of sin that eats away at our souls. But we have been given the gospel of Jesus Christ—the cure for our cancer! Why wouldn’t we share it with anyone we could?
Perhaps your love for Christ has grown stale or perhaps your love for people has been absent. That’s ok! Perhaps God is inviting you to seek Him for a renewed love for Him and others. Perhaps you need to take a risk—yes, a risk to feel awkward, look strange, or be rejected—and ask someone what they think about Jesus, the church, or religion in general. A basic question along these lines can be a very easy and natural in road to sharing the gospel with someone.
"Jesus has given us the joy and the privilege of evangelism, but “Unless we discipline ourselves for evangelism, we can easily excuse ourselves from ever sharing the gospel with anyone.”
Speaking Practically then, what does this look like? Here are some suggestions:
Establish the Connection. For most people, they don’t want to listen to a word you have to say until they feel comfortable with you. As a result, we must work hard to build a bridge between ourselves and the people we want to share Jesus with. A good place to start is by asking them to lunch, having them over to your house, or doing something besides talking about Jesus. Yes, you want to share Jesus, but let that be your goal, not your starting point. Even if you share Jesus with a random stranger, start with them—build a bridge—and then talk about Jesus.
Ask Questions. “A fool does not delight in understanding, but only wants to show off his opinions” (Proverbs 18:2). You’ve probably been in a conversation in which the other person did most of the talking—in which case it was more of a lecture than a genuine conversation. When it comes to sharing Jesus with someone, one of the most practical things you can do is ask them questions about their life, their interests, their church experience, and their personal beliefs. Not only does this communicate that you care, but it can also open doors for you to share the hope of Jesus with them. Less is More. Don’t believe the lie that says you have to present a well-crafted, full informed gospel presentation when you share Jesus. Very often, it’s little questions or statements that make all the difference—especially when they’re not covered up by too much verbal clutter. Don’t focus so much on “closing the deal,” but on “planting a seed” that you’ll continue to water and attend to over time. Evangelism is quite often a long-term process, so feel free to slow down, take your time, and say only what needs to be said (see Proverbs 15:23; 1 Corinthians 3:5–8).
Serve in our Next Gen. Ministry. Without question, one of the best ways to share Jesus with people who don’t know him is by serving in our Next Generation ministry. In this ministry, you’ll have an opportunity to share Jesus every week with kids and students who don’t know Christ. Yes, they will equip you! If this interests you, then call the church office at (432)694-5100.
Just Be Faithful. When it comes to Evangelism, you’re not responsible for the results. That’s God’s business. Your job is to simply be faithful and leave the results in His hands. Yes, there will be times when it is awkward. Yes, you will be told things you’re not sure how to answer. That’s ok! Use these as opportunities to grow, not quit. In the end, God uses the willing—not the perfect. The question is: are you willing?