Yesterday I started what I hope will be a series about evangelism titled Lessons in Evangelism, because I feel like the last 6 months God has been teaching me various lessons in Evangelism which have changed the way I view evangelism and changed the way I evangelize. I’m starting with the motivation behind why we should evangelize as Christians because they directly correlate to our actions whether we do or do not evangelize. My motivations had been simply out duty and a sense of obligation, but the 3 changes in motivation I gave yesterday are these:
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 covered the first one yesterday, so here are my explanations of the final 2 reasons.
I’ve started to actually love and care about the people around me.
Have you ever noticed you are much more interested in the people’s lives that you are closest to? This is obvious I know, but it’s changed how I view the people around me who I know don’t believe as I do. It sounds like a jerky thing to say that I “started” to care about the people around me, but the reality is that I’m often caught up in all the things in my life and that needed to change to care about people well. I can’t make myself care, but I can ask God to grow my care and love for my co-workers, my neighbors, and the random person I get in the elevator with.
As He has grown my love and concern for these people, I want them to know the things I enjoy. The counter of that is that I don’t want them to continue to live with broken lives, because the end result of that is everlasting death, instead of eternal life. Where do you want the people you love to end up, a lot of death or infinite joy and life? It’s a no-brainer.
In Romans 10, Paul says “Salvation comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” As I’ve grown in my care and concern for the people I am around, I want them to know the greatest news in the world and they can never believe simply by me showing I care about them, I have to talk about Jesus and what He has done and then let God save. You don’t talk to people you don’t care about, so those people will never hear the gospel unless your heart towards them changes. God is good at changing hearts.
If you don’t care or have genuine concern for the person you are trying to evangelize to, please stop. You’re making it harder for the rest of us.
It exalts Christ as supremely worthy and causes worship in me.
Evangelism by nature says that Christ is greater than anything any individual can choose to enjoy, worship, depend on, etc. If Christ is who He says He was, that means He is the greatest thing that has walked this earth. Evangelism asserts that to the world, it puts Him in His rightful place. As I’ve seen Christ as supreme, I feel there is no other option but to place Him above everything else when I talk to others. This eliminates any shame or fear in me and it will in you as well.
The last reason that has changed for me in regards to evangelism is that nothing causes me to seek the Lord, thank Him for salvation and desire to know Him more than evangelism. If you’ve ever evangelized, even if the person doesn’t respond and say “I believe”, you walk away with joy because you got to participate in God’s plan for salvation. You also realize how much you need God to work in people’s lives for them to change and when they do, there is so much joy in seeing someone experience for themselves salvation in Jesus Christ.
I am thankful my motivations have changed because it has caused me to love Jesus and love others more than I ever have. I pray this helps you do the same.
Ask the Lord to reveal your views on Evangelism. Ask Him to show you why you do or don’t do it? That’s where I started. Then get ready to be educated. It’s sometimes embarrassing, but really great at the same time.
Next: Lessons in Evangelism: What?
As in… what do I say? What is the gospel? Then I’ll get more practical in the methods that I’ve learned don’t work and others I’ve seen work quite well.