Over the last 6 months, the Lord has put me through a crash course in Evangelism, not an actual class, but learning through my life discussing Jesus with people who don’t know Him. Evangelism simply defined is sharing the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ with those who do not share these views as evidenced by their words or life. I’ve decided to document what I’ve learned in a series titled Lessons in Evangelism so that people can learn from my mistakes. The end goal: making evangelism normal for Christians again. Part of becoming a Christian is understanding the gospel and then as you are living your life, you tell others the gospel.
I am far from gifted in evangelism, if there was such a thing as ungifted that would be me, but I’ve learned that Paul’s exhortation to Timothy to “do the work of evangelist” likely means Timothy wasn’t either, but the command is still the same. I am starting with the question of “Why should I evangelize?” because it deals with the motivation of your heart which in turn reverberates through the actions you take. Evangelism always felt simply like a command (which it is) and a duty, which left me feeling guilty and ashamed of not doing it more, but my motivations for evangelism have been changing so that it is starting to feel normal.
I’ve come up with 3 changes in motivation that explain why I have evangelized more:
1) I love God and His gospel.
2) I’ve started to actually love and care about the people around me.
3) It causes worship in me and exalts His name.
I love God and His gospel.
I’ve found that the reality is we are all evangelists of the things we love. I’m a Dr. Pepper and 24 evangelist because I enjoy them a lot, sometimes too much. Mac evangelists are possibly the worst because they think they’re cooler than you. Evangelism stems from enjoyment, that which you enjoy and consume you will also proclaim and discuss. If you love sports and ESPN, you’re going to educate uninterested people in your non-expert opinions of sports.
The past 6 months, I’ve enjoyed the gospel more personally than ever before. I talked about it with other Christians, I read about it a lot, it consumed my thoughts and humbled me often. As a result, I talked about it a whole lot more with the people I was around, whether they agreed or disagreed. It became simply discussing my life, which is a lot less awkward than forcing an evangelistic system. Gospel Evangelism becomes normal when enjoying the gospel becomes normal.
An explanation of motivations 2 & 3 coming tomorrow…In the meantime, what are your thoughts on evangelism? What motivates you to evangelize or prevents you from it?