Mention the word “evangelism” to another Christian and you’ll likely get the same look the dentist gets when he asks if you’ve been flossing every day. You know you’re supposed to do it. You know it’s a good thing. But, for someone reason, it just doesn’t always happen.
Every single one of us is called to share Jesus with others. Yet, the very thought of evangelism often makes our hearts race and our palms sweat. The reality is you don’t have to be a super-Christian in order to engage in evangelism. Here are three reasons even you can do evangelism:
It’s not about you.
“I don’t have the right personality.”
“I don’t know how to answer people’s questions.”
“I feel weird talking to others about Jesus.”
It’s easy to come up with many reasons not to evangelize. And, truth is, these reasons are probably valid. Your personality won’t connect with everyone, you won’t always have all the answers (or any for that matter), and talking about Jesus can get a little weird sometimes. But, thankfully, our “giftedness” for evangelism doesn’t matter, because it’s not about us. If the Bible is clear about anything, it’s that God uses the least likely people to accomplish his purposes. Jesus surrounded himself with the most unlikely men and women, did life with them for a while, and then sent them off to change the world.
Remembering that evangelism isn’t about us bringing freedom. When we focus on Jesus instead of our own shortcomings, we are free to risk looking foolish for the Kingdom. That’s a good place to be.
It’s not up to you.
What we must also keep in mind, is that lives are changed and forever redeemed not by any human strength, skill, or persuasiveness, but by the infinite power of our amazing Creator. It’s easy to shrink back from evangelism because we feel like failures if we don’t see anything happen. But, we must remember it’s not up to us to “seal the deal”. Nor is it our responsibility to elicit eternal transformation. That’s the role of the Holy Spirit.
Now, we definitely have a part to play. But, it’s a small one. God does the heavy lifting when it comes to changing lives. Our role is simply one of obedience. Jesus is after hearts that are willing to go with him. So, no matter how weak you may feel. No matter how bad you are with words, remember, it’s up to Jesus to bring the heat, not you.
It’s not really about evangelism.
Ultimately, evangelism isn’t about evangelism…At least, not in the stereotypical way we understand evangelism to be, door to door witnessing, tracts left for the waitress, the obnoxiously loud street preacher shouting, “Repent, ye sinners!”. The very word “evangelism” can summon all kinds of preconceptions about what it looks like and how it’s done. But, the evangelism that the Father seeks is for us to be ambassadors of God’s Kingdom wherever we go. To reflect Jesus right where we live, work, and play. To be people who demonstrate the love of Jesus in our communities by bringing God’s presence through our presence. Sometimes that means speaking the Gospel with words. Other times it just means being the one person who will listen when someone else’s life is falling apart.
In order for us to engage in evangelism, we must shed our preconceived ideas about what it looks like. Advancing the Kingdom doesn’t depend on clever human arguments, skillful oratory, or well-developed talents. Evangelism simply requires our presence. We show up and let God do the rest. Even you can do that.
What are some other ways you’ve been able to grow in evangelistic pursuits? Let us know in the comments below.
Jimm Wood begrudgingly attended his first Vineyard Church service in 1996 and immediately found his tribe. He has been a Worship Pastor, Multisite Pastor, and now serves as Co-Senior Pastor alongside his wife DeDe at Hope Vineyard Church in Paxton, Illinois. They have 4 children, two cats, and one dog. Jimm is also the MV Rep for the Midwest South region.