Over the past several weeks, we have been looking at the various spiritual disciplines we as Christians should be working to practice. We have finally reached the end of our “TRAIN” series, where we will be looking at evangelism. Below is an excerpt on evangelism from We Are Vintage, a book Pastor Rob Wilton and I wrote. Also, at the conclusion of this post are links to the previous blogs in this series. We pray that these blog posts have been both encouraging and helpful for all of us pursuing God through the spiritual disciplines.
How Do We Faithfully Share?
Often times we make personal evangelism way too difficult. We say “do these ten steps and then this follow–up, etc.” Faithfully sharing is much easier than a ten step process. We have to understand that if we are Christians then we are missionaries. Where we live, love, and work is our mission field. As Jason Dukes puts it “we are His letter of love into the culture around us to the people of whom he loved enough to die for.” When we engage in personal evangelism “we will build relationships with others who do not know Jesus to love them to him. It means we will appreciate (though sometimes not embrace) their interests and cultural distinctives.” So, personal evangelism is less about the right plan or the right steps and more about living life intentionally.
It’s is important to understand that all of life is a mission field, but it is the Holy Spirit that empowers our sharing. We see opportunities to share and have the right words to say because of the Holy Spirit. In Luke 24:49 Jesus tells his disciples to “stay in the city until you are clothed with power from high.” In Acts 1:8 he tells the disciples, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” It is by this power today that we know when and what to share.
We share faithfully also when we share the basic Gospel message. There are all kinds of plans created to help share Jesus with others, but the Bible is simply the best plan to follow. A great place in Scripture to take people when sharing is Romans. Called the “Romans Road,” six verses succinctly and fully explain the Gospel. One of the best ways to use Romans Road is to memorize the verses.
What is the Goal?
Many times we do things without having any understanding of why we do them. The same can be said for personal evangelism. Why faithfully share? Is it for more church members, more giving, numbers, etc? The Bible makes clear why we share. We do not just share the Gospel for the sake of saying “look, we have another convert.” Rather, in Matthew 28:19–20 Jesus tells us why we share. He commands, “go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” Our goal is simple: make disciples. We must share the Gospel so that “others learn and live his ways, too, so that others learn and live his ways, too, and so on.” The result is simply disciples who make other disciples.
Personal evangelism, however, isn’t only successful when disciples are made. We must always remember that we cannot save anyone. God alone, through the work of Jesus, saves people. We are simply the messenger. So, what is successful personal evangelism? Successful personal evangelism is simply this: faithfully sharing the Gospel with others. If you remember, that was the definition of evangelism. It is important to understand that. Without understanding successful evangelism as faithfully sharing we can often get discouraged and possibly even quit. Remember, we are to love people and the greatest way to love others is by telling them the Gospel. Be faithful.