Why do you want to evangelize?


(Carson Weitnauer) #1

Hi friends,

I’m curious: why do you want to evangelize?

There are many motives we probably don’t want to shape us: guilt, shame, peer pressure, vanity, etc.

There are also many good reasons: joy, love, generosity, compassion, and so on.

I think we can encourage one another by sharing the motivations and thoughts that make us want to share the gospel. I am curious to hear from you! And we’ll get to know one another better as well.


(Jennifer Judson) #2

Time for some honesty here. I’m not so sure I want to evangelize–at least if I’m thinking of an old-fashioned, Bible-thumping kind of approaching everyone to find out if they’ve given their life to Christ. That fills me with dread and fear. Dread in offending them. Fear that they’ll have questions I can’t answer. Fear that they’ll look at my Christian life and find it wanting, unconvincing, and unappealing. I know how far I am from being conformed to the image of Christ, that I wonder what I really have to offer. Of course I must remind myself that more than offering myself, I am offering Christ and he doesn’t fall short.

That being said, I’m trying to be more sensitive to those times when I know the Holy Spirit is prompting me to ask a question…or offer hope…or reach out in friendship. Or has Bill Hybels has taught, just a walk across a room to start a conversation.

I’d like to think that evangelism is just for those who have been gifted and are called. But I know that’s not true. I have been gifted with teaching skills and I find joy in the opportunity of using those gifts in my comfort zone of teaching Sunday School at my church. I also know I’m being stretched for the purpose of stepping out of that comfort zone.

Years ago I gained an interest in apologetics to try to disciple my father. He was a skeptic, but also a seeker. He was “churched” and a lifelong Methodist–but he’d never accepted the idea of a personal savior, his views tended to be universalist, and he bought into almost every heresy I’d ever heard about. He was an engineer and very analytical. He literally mapped out the genealogy of Bible just to prove the inconsistencies. If he’d spent as much time choosing faith as he spent trying to counter it…well who knows. The good news is he did come to it in the end–the very end.

That led me on a journey to try to find ways of answering skeptics. The last few years I’ve taken as many of the RZIM courses as I’ve had time to. I’m learning and stretching and gratefully participating in forums where it’s safe to share ideas and reshape areas where I need a greater understanding. Most of the time I feel way in over my head, but I’m guessing that sentiment is widely felt…so I’m in good company.


(Tim Ramey) #3

Before I was paralyzed, I was a First Responder. If someone was hurt, we were right there. Yet, as I consider my treasure in this earthen vessel, I shock myself that I can watch people, cross the street with a car ready to hurt or kill them but I don’t even yell “Stop!” Of course, I am saying that figuratively. People are hurting and I don’t respond. If their bodies underwent an accident, I was johnny-on-the-spot. But people walk around emotionally and spiritually wounded and I don’t seem to care.

Jesus has turned my life around so I grieve when I realize people living their lives, never knowing my treasure. As Steve Green sang so long ago, “How can they live without Jesus?” The Lord has a purpose for each of us. I am so overjoyed when someone, on their deathbed comes to Jesus. But often I think that it is so sad that they did not, both have them as their best friend, but also never fulfilled the purpose that God lovingly crafted them.

Just to consider what my life would be like without Jesus is an impetus for me to share the Good News.


(Jimmy Sellers) #4

Why evangelism? If you would have asked me that 25 years ago I would have told you that guilt was the motivator. The type of guilt that knows that if I didn’t share what God had revealed to me in Jesus that I would somehow be responsible for the loss of my neighbor’s mortal soul. I would have told you that I should do what ever was necessary to win him to the Lord I would have told you that I should pray with and for him that he should be a burden on my heart and that I should make myself available if he needed someone.
Today I would tell you to do the same things except it is not guilt that motivates me but a sense of compassion and gratitude. Compassion because I was once lost and gratitude for a gift so great. I have 30 plus years of walking with the Lord up hill and down he is always true always faithful and forever able to save and he is the bread of life and men need what he has.
I still remember a co-worker remarking (after I had announced that I had recommitted my life to Jesus, I was in my early 30th) that he thought that I was too far gone to be saved, I have never forgot that feeling of being as it were, one left for dead in the mind of a brother. I have come to realize that I am a sower and not a reaper. I don’t get frustrated anymore when people I know, and love turn their backs on the gift of God instead it pains me to see them walk away but I don’t feel guilt.


(Theja Tseikha) #5

For me one would be the fear of regret; that if one day they ask me(in the future or in eternity) why I didn’t share them the liberating truth the whole time we were together, and also that one day when I look back I will regret the life spent apart from the good and perfect will of God. Another reason would be: the blessings of God, the close relationship we enjoy with our heavenly Father, the fact that we don’t have to keep on running from guilt or running after things, that our heart can find its rest in God, all of these needs I see in my neighbor too and it’s hard to not share after being so filled myself. :):slightly_smiling_face:


(Omar Rushlive Lozada Arellano) #6

As I am reminded of the gospel, I’m always reminded that I’m a wretched sinner who does not deserve the grace of God. It amazes me how a God like Him would care for someone like me. When I look to unbelievers, my sinfulness makes me able to identify with them, that I was once like them, but it makes me thankful that I am identified with Christ by His grace. This reminds me in such a way that prevents self-righteousness to creep out in my heart.

Since God saved me and loved me, and since He commanded me to share the gospel, I would do everything to please my love. It’s not an option, but a mandate. I’ll do my best to make sure that my life is in line with what He wants to do in the world.


(Melvin Greene) #7

Why do I want to evangelize?
My pastor recently showed a video during a service called, “Sing A Little Louder”. It was a short video (11 minutes, 30 seconds), and it was a dramatization of a true story of a man’s experience he had in Nazi Germany when he was a boy. He and his family would attend a Protestant church every Sunday. Behind the church were railroad tracks, and at the same time every Sunday, during the sermon, a train would thunder by. One Sunday something happened that made the train stop right outside the church. The preacher was in the middle of his sermon. Slowly the congregation became aware of a noise, a cacophony of voices could be heard rising above the preaching. It was the voices of Jews who were in the cattle cars on their way to death camps. There was moaning and crying, and some were calling out for help. As the voices grew louder, the preacher grew louder as well. He tried to drown out the voices coming from the cattle cars. Eventually, the preacher picked up a hymnal and began to sing a hymn. He signaled the organist to start playing. The congregation slowly started to stand up and join the preacher in singing. The little boy on whom the story was centered slipped out of his seat and went outside to see what was going on. He walked to the edge of the church’s yard and was just standing there looking at the train. You can see hands gripping the wooden slats of the cattle cars. A young woman peered out between the slats and asked the boy what his name was. The boy didn’t answer. He just stood and stared in apparent shock. Inside the church, the boy’s family discovered that he was gone and ran out to get him. German soldiers started to get off the train and began to order the people to get back in the church. They complied and continued with the service.
The meaning was glaringly clear for the Church today. Are we going to speak up and share the gospel with those outside of the Church; those who are being led away to their destruction by the Godless beliefs of secular society? I think about Proverbs 24:11: “Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.” The video brought me to tears. That is why I want to evangelize.

If you are interested in seeing the video, it’s on YouTube and the name of the video is, “Sing A Little Louder.”


(Nick NIcholson ) #8

Melvin
Thanks for sharing, a very powerful message in what the movie depicts, of course I’m off to see where I can purchase the movie. Like many of the other folks who posted on this topic, I was raised in an environment of sharing the “good news” was set as condemning a person’s life or lifestyle at the same time. After all these years and much study I know the right way to approach others and as stated…just have a conversation.


(Marilyn Wilson) #9

There are two important things that Jesus said to His disciples:
John 14:21 "Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me…"
Mark 16:15 "And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation."
Was that a command?!?
I guess I am saying that loving Christ means obeying His “command” to evangelize.
But I must pray for a heart of compassion for my friends and loved ones who do not believe that Jesus is “the Way, the Truth and the Life”. They do not accept that there are eternal consequences. It can be easier to keep quiet when the accusations of being “judgmental” come at me. Or the apathy so evident when I’m are told: “it’s personal - you believe what you want and I’ll believe what I want”. Jesus knew there would be obstacles we would face, but He gave the command anyway, because He also knew the Holy Spirit would be sent to help us, and give courage, resourcefulness, and tenacity.


(Tim Ramey) #10

As much as I expressed that I want to evangelize so that others may live the life that they were created for, I have to add another dimension that is vital to me.

I am memorizing II Corinthians 4 now and a verse that I’m learning so profoundly speaks to what the other aspect of evangelism is to me. The verse is 2 Corinthians 4:15 “For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.” I do want more voices in the choir giving thanks, praise and glory to Him.


(Ron Livaudais) #11

Besides it being a command, I want others to experience relationship with Jesus that I have.
I know I am going to be with God for eternity and anyone, with the help of the Holy Spirit I can
influence so they don’t have to live in eternity separated from God is such a blessing to me.
God makes the appointments, and with His help I will continue to show up for those appointments,
when it comes to sharing God’s Love with others.


(Mitch) #12

great question:
firstly for the benefit of all we need clarity of that we mean by evangelise?
I am going to suggest the following as a helpful definition:
At Crown Jesus Ministries would define the work of evangelism as:
‘The ability of a believer, often as part of a team, to communicate in a compelling yet ethical way the good news (Gospel) of Jesus Christ both by words and deeds. This should be done in the authority and power of the Holy Spirit by inviting others to respond by changing their position, turning from sin, receiving forgiveness, belonging to a local church and living the life of a Spirit filled disciple and witness to this good news.’

Thats a bit wordy but covers a lot of essential bases.

Why do evangelism?

7 suggestions:

1, out of compasion for others

2, out of conviction that the Gospel still works and Jesus is still changing lives

3, out of obedience to the 4 commissions of Christ

4, for the Consummation of Christ Kingdom

5, for the Joy in seeing lives transformed by the power of Jesus

6, to build the church

7, to deeps our personal relationship with Jesus when we become his hands, feet and voice to a broken world.

Mitch


(Robert Fields) #13

Wow! These are all great responses to a good question.

Here is my thought. Ephesians 3:1-14 is a good basis for evangelism. A mystery concealed in the ages has been revealed in the last days. Paul made sure to write down this mystery for his readers to understand. The administration of this mystery means the enacting of God’s plan accomplished in Jesus. Point #1: Paul wants us to understand this plan for a reason. Point #2: God is the One who is enacting this plan through His Son, not us. Question: What role do we play then? We proclaim; in word and deed. We do not convict the world of sin or judge it according to righteousness. That’s the Holy Spirit. We proclaim what? The good news!

The next question is how. John 4; Jesus meets the woman at the well is a 5 point evangelism example.

  1. Jesus prepares His heart for a divine encounter (with a person whose heart God is working on).
  2. Jesus engages in conversation.
  3. Jesus shares life giving information
  4. Jesus exposes: a) her condition, b) her ignorance of truth, c) Himself as Messiah
  5. Jesus spends time.

That’s why I evangelize. All of this is done in love.

God Bless!
Robert


(Giselle Seidel) #14

I guess I read this question a little late, but I would like to answer too.
Most of the above are really great answers, but I would add that I want to share the Gospel out of Love. The Love that comes from God and goes beyond compassion. God loves every single person out there as much as He loves us and I pray to God that through His Holy Spirit He would put that love for them too. I want to share the Gospel because of what God has done in my life and I want others to experience it too. To get to know Jesus and rest assured in His Love!! To be free from slavery of sin. To find peace, to find joy, to find eternal life. To know the Truth! The Truth that set me free. Oh I pray to our Father that He may put in all of us true Love for the lost!