Evangelism today looks a lot different than it did even 20 years ago. Suffice it today; you don’t see too many evangelists going door-to-door proclaiming the Good News of Jesus like I remember when I was a kid. My dad would see them coming and pretend to be very busy, too busy for a bunch of yahoos clenching bibles in suits on a hot Saturday afternoon in Summer. God love them for trying. What happened?
Are Christians more evolved than they were in decades past? Has the culture become such that you shouldn’t evangelize any more? What’s stopping us from the boldness we used to have as a community of Believers trying to reach the lost around us?
Evangelism Isn’t About Building It So They Come
The Word given to us by Christ just before His ascent into Heaven in Matthew 28:19 was to “Go.” Jesus wanted His disciples then and now to go about preaching the Good News wherever they went, hence “of all Nations.” What does that look like today?
Are there people who go forth and evangelize the streets? Yes, there are! But widely too many Christians think of it as sending their Brethren to other countries for a week when you say, “Evangelism,” than they do feeling convicted to share the Good News with those around them.
Our beautiful, multi-faceted, fully equipped, modern churches in America do a lot for gathering saints, holding functions and conferences, throwing VBS extravaganzas, hosting weddings, performing funerals, and lots of other reasons to congregate there. What they were never meant to do is take the place of evangelizing those around us. We’ll never make a church building that convicts non-believers of their sin and makes them turn to Jesus for salvation. How many have driven by your church on any given day of the week and said to themselves, “One day I will get right with my life and go to church.” How can we tell them the way to “get right” is to simply come to Him, as is, if we are not saying it face-to-face?
Going Will Make You Feel A Little Vulnerable
Let’s be honest, approaching people about the Good News of Jesus makes us feel a little unsure. No one wants to be made fun of, scoffed at, or rejected by others. Sometimes it’s those misconceptions about evangelism that keep us from sharing when we think we should. Too often, we use social media as a buffer from criticism to share memes, bible verses, and other Christian information as a way to evangelize. Sitting in your chair in front of your phone or computer may be sharing things that are inspirational and thought-provoking, but it isn’t evangelism. So what can we do?
Those feelings we all experience when we do something new or put ourselves out there are going to be there. The truth is, doing anything for God for the first few times is going to feel a little weird. The enemy also likes to capitalize on those feelings of fear and insecurity. Don’t listen to Him. After all, it isn’t us that evangelizes anyway but the Holy Spirit? Do you know exactly what anyone needs to hear to receive Jesus? The Holy Spirit does. He puts the words on your tongue. You have to be ready to act when the situation arises. The main thing is keeping your mind and heart in “GO Mode.”
How To Get Into GO Mode
Ready, Set, Go! Are you ready? No? OK. Here’s how we can get prepared to go forth and reach others proactively with the salvation of Jesus. It starts with you. Getting yourself in the mindset of evangelism is most of the battle. It’s about being open to the Spirit so He can move through you:
Spend time in the Word of God – Reading God’s Word should inspire us, convict us, and make us open to the Holy Spirit throughout the day. Read. Find a devotional, take in a chapter a day. It will make a difference, not just in your life but
Pray to be open to opportunities – You’ll have a much easier time discerning those Holy prompts to share if you are asking for them and waiting for it in the first place. Evangelism takes openness and willingness. Make it happen with prayer.
Be approachable – This should go without saying. It’s hard to convince others they need Christ and you have a changed life if you are sullen, angry, and otherwise grumpy. If you want to share Christ, take on the mindset of Christ, and enjoy His creation. After all, He does! Make a friendly conversation. You’d be surprised how it puts others at ease around you when you strike up a natural conversation. Randomly hammering people about going to hell and seething bible verses at strangers is not an effective means of evangelism.
Creating Opportunities To Share Is Exciting
Creating conversation by provoking questions is what we do around here. It’s the idea behind Ichthus VerseWear designs in the first place. Our designs are not obviously evangelical on purpose, so it sparks questions from those who encounter you when you are wearing our t-shirts. The verse reference on the back of the shirt creates another opportunity to reach those around you with messages from the Bible. How many people have come up to us after they’ve Googled the back of our shirts? Too many to count!
If you have the heart to reach the lost and you are ready for GO mode, then the next thing to do is find a t-shirt that inspires you and get going! We’d love to hear the stories that follow. What are you waiting for?
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