Hello Immanuel Church!
I want to invite you to join me for a series of reflections on Personal Evangelism.
If you’re like me, personal evangelism is an area where you could use some encouragement, and that is the goal of this series, to encourage us to think and pray and grow more in our personal evangelism.
The name of the series is thus: To Strengthen Our Evangelism.
None of us may be the next Billy Graham, but I do believe we can all be a part of this exciting ministry and be used by God to bring the Gospel to others.
As we will see, personal evangelism has many expressions; it is something we can and should all get in on.
So that’s the goal: to nudge us all (myself included!) toward more growth in personal evangelism.
So What Is Evangelism?
To begin, let’s start with a basic definition of evangelism. What is evangelism?
Here’s a good starting place: “Evangelism is proclaiming the Gospel – the good news about Jesus Christ which is God’s power to save all who believe it and turn from sin to follow him.”*
Notice a couple of things from this definition…
- Evangelism requires words. Evangelism means proclaiming the gospel message about Jesus. The Apostle Paul says, “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’” (Romans 10:13-15). If people are to call on the name of the Lord, someone must proclaim, in words, the news to them. We do want to do good to all and bless our community with acts of service, but to evangelize, there is a moment when we must speak up and share the news about Jesus.
- Evangelism is about good news. The Gospel is good news! It is the good news about forgiveness, reconciliation, and eternal life in and through Jesus. It is a happy proclamation, and that means evangelism can be a happy, joyful thing for us. In a day when no one wants a certain set of beliefs foisted on them, we may be nervous to share the Gospel with others, but I think it’s helpful to remind ourselves that we are ultimately sharing good news. To me, that reminder makes the task of personal evangelism a little less intimidating because, generally, I like sharing good news!
In the months ahead, we will continue to unpack evangelism, but for now, with just a basic definition in hand, I hope you will consider joining in this pursuit together.
Donald Whitney comments, “[N]othing causes an eye-dropping, foot-shuffling anxiety more quickly among a group of Christians like myself than talking about our responsibility to evangelize” (Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, p. 119). But, as he also points out, “Only the sheer rapture of being lost in the worship of God is as exhilarating and intoxicating as telling someone about Jesus Christ…[And] talking to a person about Jesus can be an intensely rewarding experience for any believer” (p. 119). That is my hope and prayer for us, that we would all go from foot-shuffling anxiety to joy-filled boldness, that we would all grow in our personal evangelism, that we might remember the goodness of the good news and discover the joy of sharing it with others that they too might know our gracious savior, Jesus, and the salvation he brings.
May the Lord help us on this journey. May He stir up in our hearts the ministry of evangelism. And may many more people come to know Jesus. Amen!