This week we are looking at Evangelism; what is it? How do I do it? Do I have to?
Mark 16: 15-18
15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
Matthew 28: 19-20
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
1 Peter 3: 13-18
13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behaviour in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.
Evangelism is a word that can get thrown around a lot in churches. “We must do more evangelism”, “This can be an evangelism event”, and so many more. So what does it really mean? How do we actually do “evangelism”, and how does it work?
A quick google search for the word brings up this:
“the spreading of the Christian gospel by public preaching or personal witness”
So from that definition its someone, and individual by the my reading of it telling someone or a group of people about their Christian faith; and sharing the good news of the Bible and God’s love with others.
The history of the word “Evangelism” stems from the Greek word: εὐαγγέλιον this word is mentioned in the original texts of the New Testament, and is where can see it most used. The verb form of this word is rarely used outside of the New Testament which means finding it’s true meaning is difficult as one could argue that it’s almost a purely Christian word. If we break down the word in Greek we can see a pretty awesome definition of the word:
εὔ = “good”
ἀγγέλλω = “I bring a message”
The word break down to be “I bring a good message”
So if we tie this definition in with the dictionary definition we end up with:
“bringing the good message of the Christian faith to share with others through preaching or personal witness.”
I think this is a pretty good definition of what this word means to us all now.
At the very end of Mark’s Gospel we get the “Great Commission” (our reading above from Mark) which is Mark’s last recorded words from Jesus to the disciples. In it, Jesus tells his disciples to go out into the world and spread the good news of God’s love for all humanity; go out into the world and spread the good news of Jesus’ ministry; the good message.
In 1 Peter Paul is writing to the early Christians encouraging them to go out and share their new found faith with others. Not to be scared of doing so, because God is with them when they do this; he will keep them safe.
This is still what Jesus tells us to do now; as disciples of Christ, and Christians, people who follow Jesus’ teaching we are told to go out into the world and share the good news of Jesus life of earth, the good message of God’s love.
How do we do this? Everyone will have their own gifts and talents that they can use for this. It could be on social media, it could be in person, it could be through talking to people, being there for people when they need it most, inviting people to church, buying someone a bible, it could just be through your life’s actions, playing in a worship band, serving the community, making tea and cakes for people who need it. There are loads of ways we can share the Gospel with those who need to hear it. It doesn’t have to be stood at the front of a church full of people, it can be pretty much anything that shows the love of God to someone else.
Why is it important? Without it, the church will fade away into nothing. We won’t have any believers left.
Should I do it? Yes, it’s a simple answer, but one that is true none the less.
If we don’t have non-Christian friends, we need to find some. If we aren’t sharing our faith with someone somewhere in the world why aren’t we? Do we want to see more people know the love of God that we know? If the answer to that is yes, then Evangelism is your answer.
I remember when I was in Brazil on my gap year; the young people of the church out there were so excited by their faith that they would all group together and go and share their faith with smaller communities nearby, and serve them by gardening, cleaning, acting, playing worship music, and so many other things. It was truly amazing to see their faith, and how brave they were.
So let’s all god out, and follow the advice the bible gives us.
Go and proclaim the Good News of of the Bible with those who you meet.
Lord, I ask that you would help me to spread your love to more and more people as I live my life. Help me to constantly be showing my faith to others, and for them to notice, ask questions, and be interested in you. Help me not to be scared, but to be prepared. Amen.
Sum it up
Evangelism is something that every Christian is asked to do by God; but there are loads of different ways to do it; not every way will suit your skill set. At it’s most basic, it is sharing God’s love with someone else.
This week, pick one person that you would like to share God’s love with (it can be however small or big an act you would like), first pray about it, then go and do it. See what happens, see how it feels, see how they react. It will be scary for sure, but give it a go. Remember, God has always got your back.