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—
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!