Faithful evangelism is so crucial to the health of a church. The gospel that is grasped is given away. Most Christians agree and even want to see this happen but often struggle with implementing it in their lives. In this post I want to provide a few practical, immediate things that you can do to foster more evangelistic faithfulness.
Grapple with the Great Commission. Read Matthew 28:18-20 again. Who is in the passage? Jesus and his disciples. What are the disciples to do? Make and train disciples. What do they train them on? Obedience to Jesus’ commands. Does this “Great Commission” fall in the category of a command from King Jesus? Yes. Are you going to obey Jesus?
Identify 3-4 people for encouragement and accountability. Think of a few people who you know from church that you know will pray for you, keep you accountable, and are bold enough to exhort you if you go into default chicken mode. Get together as friends (ideally 3-4 people) and identify unbelievers that you know, have contact with or would like to see come to Christ. Consider neighbors, coworkers, family members, people you see frequently, or even places where random people are that you can talk to (i.e. public transit). Write down the names, make a plan for gospel opportunities, and then pray for one another. Follow up periodically for encouragement and accountability. Consider what this looks like if it multiples: groups of 3-4 praying for and pursuing 9-12 people turns into 15-20 people praying for and pursuing 45-60 people.
Pray for evangelistic opportunities. Think about Paul. The guy was an evangelism beast—yet he still requested prayer for boldness and faithfulness:
and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. (Ephesians 6:19-20)
Take evangelistic opportunities. It is my experience that if I am praying for God to bring me evangelistic opportunities then I am much more likely to see and seize them. If I am not praying I tend to operate with the comfortable fog of selfishness and silence. Pray for opportunities, it is a very healthy thing for a Christian to do.
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— (Colossians 4:2-3)
I think of Paul before Felix in Acts 24. He was looking at some serious consequences. However, instead of being safe he was faithful. He stood before Felix and talked to him about God’s Word. This is a providential opportunity. Instead of flattering the sandals off Felix like Tertullus did (Acts 24:2-4) he tried to preach unbelief out of him (Acts 24:24-25)! He took the opportunities that he prayed that God would give him!
Make evangelistic opportunities. When you heart is drenched in the gospel you will become creative in trying to give it away. Remember when Paul was in jail in Philippi? He and Silas were having a hymn sing and praying to God as they were locked in the chains. The other prisoners and the guards were getting gospeled even when Paul and Silas were bound. Then God unlocked them and the prison. You might think that Paul would run out of there and maybe stick out his tongue at the guard, right? Nope. He stops to give the gospel to the now suicidal guard. The evangelist made an opportunity because his compass was oriented by gospel.
Paul did not have another great commission. He had the same words. He had to grapple with the same kingship / authority / submission / fear issues that we do. So, let me encourage you to grapple with the great commission, grab some friends to join you, and then get to work in the privilege of giving away the gospel.
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