What Evangelism Isn’t
You’ve probably heard the well-known phrase: “Preach the gospel at all times and if necessary, use words.” There is a grain of truth to this sentence. Every Christian should be a walking Bible, a fifth gospel; you may be the only gospel people ever read.
The Scriptures are clear and commanded us to be holy as the Lord is holy (1 Peter 1:13-16; cf. 1 Corinthians 6:19-2o; Galatians 5:16-24; Ephesians 4:17-32; 1 John 1:5-2:6, ESV). However, evangelism is not living a holy life.
Evangelism requires the good news of the gospel to be made known. The good news is news! Information requires reading or hearing; it requires being communicated audibly or in written form. We are all natural evangelists for the things we love.
Brothers and sisters, are we more quickly to speak exciting news about a new movie or vacation pictures to unbelievers than we are to testify to the infinitely good news of Christ crucified? May it never be. It is better to suffer for the sake of Christ than to be ashamed to speak about Christ.
A gospel untold is a gospel not treasured. Charles Spurgeon rightly said, “Every Christian is either a missionary, or an imposter.”
So, where do I begin? Here are four easy ways to being witnessing.
Four Ways to Begin Evangelism:
Hand Out Gospel Tracts — the easiest thing about tracts is you can leave them and walk away. While I highly recommend handing them to people with a simple question, “Did you get one of these?”, laying them on benches or on grocery shelves is a great start.
Gospel tracts are paper missionaries under a sovereign God — His Word never returns void (cf. Isaiah 55:11). A great place for faithful tracts is none other than Living Waters ministries. Their tracts are pleasing to the eyes and very clear in their gospel presentation.
Social Media — this is akin to the above. You probably have unbelieving friends on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Post a simple gospel message: God is good and holy, we are sinful and guilty. Jesus Christ died and rose for the forgiveness of sins for everyone who would repent and trust Him.
Use clear texts such as John 3:16-18, 3:36; Romans 3:19-26, 2 Corinthians 5:21, or Galatians 3:10-13. Good news? Absolutely. Simple? You bet.
Witness to Telemarketers — those who are paid to be on the phone must hear the gospel on the phone. I love witnessing to telemarketers. They are usually very receptive and polite — plus, if you’re nervous, you’ll likely never meet them!
As they talk to you, ask them if you can tell them some good news after they share their pitch with you. Ask simple questions like, “Do you consider yourself to be a good person?,” or, “Have you ever heard the Christian gospel before?”
Always ask follow-up questions or to have them define what they mean. You could even read a written gospel message over the phone that you wrote yourself or a Bible passage or tract. Perhaps a good way to close would be to pray for them.
Talk to a Stranger — believe it or not, if someone doesn’t have headphones in they are usually prone to talk to you. Ask them how they are and what their name is.
Usually, people have biblical names like Hannah, Sarah, Adam, Matthew, Paul, Jason, Andrew, Abigail, Chloe, Hope, James, David, etc. Try, “Hey, do you know where your name comes from?” And then go to “Have you ever read the Bible?,” or, “Do you go to church?”
Ask someone what the cross means on their necklace or their tattoo. Give them a tract and ask them to read it. Ask if you can tell them some really good news. Bring up local news and find a way to transition into the gospel.
There are countless ways. Everyone is a stranger until you meet them. And every stranger will meet God’s judgment unless we preach the gospel to them.
Remember your role in evangelism: you give the gospel, God gives the growth.
1 Corinthians 3:5-8 (ESV), “What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor.”