common

How to Be an Evangelist—Without Really Trying

Photo credit: www.deathtothestockphoto.com/ What comes to mind when you hear the word evangelist? Do you think of a fiery preacher challenging you to "Repent!"? Nowadays that might be more of a caricature than common occurrence.

How about the words personal evangelism? Do you shudder at the thought of going out to witness with gospel tracts?

If the idea of personal evangelism or trying to be an evangelist doesn't appeal to you, keep reading! There is a way to share your faith in a personal, natural and easy way.

Calling, commitment, and a command

I know a young man who has a gift and boldness to engage people in conversation about Jesus and offer to pray for them. I have friends who go into neighborhoods every couple of weeks to knock on doors and share the gospel. A neighbor friend of mine often goes out on a roadside with a placard that reads, "Jesus loves you!"

I admire my friends for their commitment and calling. I've done similar things, but it is not my personal calling. My oldest son and I traveled to Scotland on an evangelistic outreach many years ago. It was a great time of ministry, and it helped confirm that I am not an evangelist.

I'm called to disciple people.

And yet, what is called the Great Commission (Matt 28:19; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47-48; Acts 1:8) is not an optional suggestion, it is a command. The apostle Paul told Timothy to, "...do the work of an evangelist...." (2 Tim 4:5 NKJV).

So, there is a responsibility for every believer to share their faith with others. Even when it's not our calling, we can commit to do something, even when it doesn't come easily.

But, if evangelism is not your thing, here are some thoughts on how to be an evangelist without really trying.

Keep it simple

  • Start with what you know—your own life story
  • Don't worry about what you don't know
  • Stick to what you know and engage people at that point
  • Find a story in the Bible that relates to your own life story

Keep it personal

  • Engage people by asking them about themselves
  • Find a common point of interest or connection as you talk with people
  • Think of a story that connects with the person's life you have engaged to talk
  • Use plain and simple words and avoid using Christianese

Keep alert for opportunities

  • Look for opportunities in everyday life
  • Get more familiar with various stories in the Bible
  • Pray and trust God for opportunities to engage people in conversation
  • Follow up with the people with whom you share your faith

Give it a try

Over the next few weeks, I hope to dig into each of these thoughts in more depth. The broad view of it can be summed up in these three admonitions—keep it simple, keep it personal, and keep open and be ready.

I've posted on this general idea of sharing your faith before, but want to be more instructive with these new posts.

Here are a couple of posts I hope will be helpful to you—

Need Some Help on How to Share Your Faith?

Need Some Help on How to Share Your Faith? (Part 2)

How Does Your Story Connect with God's Story?

Tell me what you think—

What are your experiences with sharing your faith?

What are the challenges you've faced with sharing your faith?

Thanks for reading and please feel free to share this post with others!

What Do We Have in Common?

Photo credit: lightstock.com A tribe is one of the newer terms to describe a specific group of people with a common bond. Whatever the common bond might be, it ties people together as a like-minded unit. It could be a cause, a leader, or a common interest.

A tribe needs someone to be the leader. In pre-PC days they might be referred to as a chief. But their title or designation isn't what's important. What is important is their leadership. For a tribe or any community to continue to function as a unit, the leader needs to be able to lead them together.

A Body, not an institution

The church—the Body of Christ, as it's called in the Bible—is a community of believers with a common bond. What's the common bond for the church? Jesus. He is also the head of the church—its primary leader. It's more than a tribe, it's a family with one Father and many children.

The church is not an institution, as some may think. Not God's church. It stretches far beyond any organization or institutional hierarchy governed by man. And God never designed it to be populated by individuals who participate only for how it benefits them or best fits their needs.

[bctt tweet="The church stretches far beyond any organization or institutional hierarchy of man"]

How God designed His church is illustrated by the celebration of communion, also called the Lord's Supper or the Eucharist. It is not a remembrance of Jesus' suffering on the cross, but a time to remember Him. He who is our common bond and the Shepherd of our souls. We are to remember who He is and what He did upon the cross and through His resurrection.

A common commitment

Our common bond as a body of believers is what enables us to be a community, but it doesn't mean we function as one. Our ability and willingness to function as a community is based on our commitment to surrender our will and life to Jesus.

[bctt tweet="Our common bond as a body of believers is what enables us to be a community"]

He is our common bond, and it is our collective relationship with Him that enables us to be a community. We function best as a community when our surrender and humility to Jesus overflows into our relationships with one another.

This is the picture revealed to us in the book of Acts where, "All who believed were together and held everything in common..." (Acts 2:44 NET). Again we're told, "The group of those who believed were of one heart and mind, and no one said that any of his possessions was his own, but everything was held in common" (Acts 4:32).

What was their secret?

I wrote a post recently about the value of a team in leadership transition. It got me thinking, "How does a church develop a leadership team?" This got me to reflect on what the church's foundation is for being a team. The early church "held everything in common." This is what made them a true community.

[bctt tweet="The early church held everything in common, which made them a true community"]

The biblical Greek word for this commonality is koinonia (1 Cor 10:16 NKJV), which is also where we draw the word communion. As mentioned above, what draws believers together when celebrating communion is our common relationship with Jesus.

This is what Jesus prayed for on the night He was betrayed—

“I am not praying only on their behalf, but also on behalf of those who believe in me through their testimony, that they will all be one, just as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me." (John 17:20-21 NET)

The apostle Paul exhorts the church in Philippi with a similar heart—

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: (Phil 2:3-5 NET)

Humble leadership

When we experience this type of community as a church body, we have the proper foundation for developing a leadership team. It reflects the nature of the chief Shepherd, Jesus (1 Peter 5:1-5).

Next week I'll look at how to build a leadership team on this foundation. If you haven't read the 3-part series on leadership transition, links for the first two posts are in the third post. Here's the link–Leadership Transition and the Value of a Team

What do you think is needed for building a leadership team on a solid foundation?

Stay tuned!