Many Christians look forward to attending church gatherings and participating in various fun activities inside the church. We enjoy gatherings and fellowship, socializing with like-minded people. Having a fellowship is an important ingredient for Christians to grow both in love and in faith. With these gatherings, we nourish and rekindle each other’s fire and compassion for Christ. Yet, every Christian is not bound to the four corners of a Church building. While having a fellowship is essential, other parts of the church should not be neglected. One of these, which is perhaps the most challenging, is evangelism. Growth in love and compassion cannot be found alone with churchgoers. Rather, it overflows even to those who are not part of our spiritual circle. What is evangelism?
Evangelism for most Christians is not a new word. As a Christian, you have probably heard about evangelism multiple times on Sundays over the pulpit. And even if you haven’t yet heard about evangelism in church, you may have read or heard of it at one time or another. Many are familiar with evangelism but sadly, some don’t know the weight of this wonderful mission. Without evangelism, you will not have the slightest idea of who Jesus is, and joining church activities is meaningless. Every Christian conversion begins with Evangelism. Many think that evangelism is something done by leaders or pastors, but this is only half true. Anyone who is in Christ and believes in Christ can evangelize. Evangelism is in reality crucial in the life of every believer.
So what is evangelism at all? Biblical narratives and their truths will help us to have a good grasp of ‘what is evangelism’.
What Is Evangelism
From a koine Greek word transliterated to “euangelion”, Evangelism literally means gospel or a good message. Originally, its Greek word means a reward given to a messenger for good news. Therefore, evangelism has something to do about the good news. So what is Evangelism then? Proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ or sharing the good news of salvation, this is exactly what Evangelism is. The derivation of the term Evangelism is also used in the canonical titles of the famous first four books of the New Testament. In the present, we identify these books—Matthew, Mark, Luke John— as the Four Gospels.
With the same root word, “euangelion “ comes the word “angel”. Angels are messengers of God. Both in Hebrew and Greek, the word angel means messenger. In the Old Testament, the ancient Israelites viewed angels as carriers of God’s word. It is said that angels appear to God’s people in order to bring messages from God (Daniel 9:21). They do not know them as some winged-creatures possessing noble natures. Instead, angels were perceived as God’s messengers from heaven who delivers important messages to people. What is an angel’s mission? It is to speak to believers about what God has to say.
Angels have descended on earth since the time of the New Testament. When an angel named Gabriel appeared before Zechariah (Luke 1:11-17), the angel announced the birth of his son, John who will be used by God for a specific mission. And subsequently, the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to reveal the birth of Jesus (Luke 1:36-38).
Messengers of Today
Today, angels may not need to speak directly to people for the Gospel has been revealed. The Lord does not anymore need to send his angels for He has already sent the Holy Spirit to guide and speak to us; to give us discernment. It is God Himself talking to us when we enquire in His presence, only we cannot see Him. Furthermore, the mission of carrying the good news to the world can now be fulfilled with the lips of God’s chosen people. What an amazing purpose it is for God’s servants to have the privilege of delivering the mission of His most important message— the message of salvation. Persons who commit a life to preach and communicate the good news today are called Evangelists. However, they are not the only people given with a task like this.
You have identified clearly what evangelism is; proclaiming the Gospel to non-believers. But, what is this Gospel? What is evangelism and the Gospel to each other? The answer is, the Gospel is the compilation of messages of God written in the first four books of the New Testament. The Gospel is not about just sharing the complete stories of Jesus and his miracles. Rather, it concentrates on the life of Jesus and his teachings, His crucifixion on the cross, and His resurrection. By using the Gospels to evangelize, the story of Christ’s sacrifice wonderfully summarizes the heart of God.
Jesus’ message of mercy and grace is powerful. Through learning about God’s grace and mercy in the Gospels, lives can be transformed. Evangelism focuses on sharing the Gospel so that all may inherit the Kingdom of God. The Four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John tells us of Jesus and his ministry. Christians today carry the same message to the unbelievers and unchurched so they too can know and experience the love of Christ.
Receiving the Gospel
Have you heard of the Gospel? Have you received it with faith? If your answer is yes, then you have been are blessed with hearing the word of God. Romans 10:17 says “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ”. The Gospel needs to be publically preached for a person cannot believe in Christ if they haven’t heard of him. This is why the world needs evangelism. The knowledge of what is evangelism is futile without it being put into practice.
Everyone should be able to hear the releasing, quenching, and transforming message of Christ. As a Christian, you have the capacity to share a great gift such as this, should you withhold it? It is not easy to proclaim the Gospel. There can be things that will hinder your ability to share the Good News. It can be your fears, doubts, or lack of knowledge that can impede you. But, remember that it is God who sends His messengers, and when He sends them, He enables them.
What Is Evangelism And Why We Should Evangelize
The Lord never meant for the message of salvation to rot in pages. He desires for it to reach beyond Jerusalem, beyond Judea, and Samaria. Jesus wants God’s word to be spread across the globe; to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). The very purpose of Jesus coming here on earth and dying on the cross is to pay for our sins and make us right with God. He came to fulfill scripture proving that the messages and predictions of the past are true. He later gave the great Commission for disciples to share the gospel with others. This is what is evangelism all about.
Though the Church is one body, it also has different parts. Many assume that if they are already serving in a particular ministry, they can leave the sharing of the Gospel to others. However, this shouldn’t be so. If someone is already a part of the music ministry or is leading a youth ministry, they should still evangelize to the unsaved. Bringing one more to Christ is better than none. The essence e of God is with us and us in Him. As we evangelize, we are helping people to know Jesus more.
Evangelism is Commanded by Jesus
After the death and resurrection of Jesus, He appeared to his disciples. Together on the mountain in Galilee, Jesus told his disciples to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). Today, we know this verse as the Great Commission. Jesus commands the twelve disciples and all Christians to act upon the Great Commission. Every Christian is a disciple of Jesus. Therefore, everyone who believes in Him should obey this commandment. However, this command is no lesser nor greater than the other commands of Jesus.
Jesus teaches us to love God with all our hearts, minds, and souls (Matthew 22:37). Likewise, He told us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:39). Obedience to the commandments of God is our love being put into practice. Also, if we love others, we would desire that they too will receive salvation and embrace it. Evangelism is an act both adhering to these two greatest commandments. The heartbeat of Jesus is to rescue people from the pit of destruction. All believers are accountable for communicating the message of salvation. The Lord never desires for His message to go underground left unheard.
Evangelism Magnifies God’s Name
The missions of the Church are anchored in this ultimate purpose— giving glory to God. As servants of the Lord, we are vessels of God’s message. In this way, we can magnify the name of the Lord wherever we are. God only chose 12 disciples at the beginning of the Great Commission. Can you imagine how far evangelism has spread from just twelve disciples? The mission of glorifying God’s name has reached multitudes! No one can limit the power of God’s message. These messengers are enough to reach billions of people.
A Christian’s mission includes sharing the Good News, and taking part in it immediately will not hinder nor delay our purpose. The Lord calls on His people to share the Truth. So isn’t it astounding to be working with the Lord to rescue people? This is the greatest mission in all history. And by the grace of God, we can give glory to His name.
What Is Effective Evangelism
‘What is evangelism’ is such an uncomplicated question compared to knowing how it can be done in the most effective manner. Generations continuously evolve and change. There is neither a stable program nor amusing movement that can be used throughout history in preaching Christ in the world. The Church needs to adapt and be creative in communicating the Gospel. Matthew 10:16 reminds us to be as humble as a dove and to be as wise as a serpent in proclaiming the Word of God in the world. We are to be wise in winning souls for Christ. We cannot go into the world without any preparation. It will only tire us into frustration. There are essential things we need to consider to effectively share the message of salvation.
First, a church will need a set of plans and strategies in reaching the unchurched. There should be various plans for hanging out, inviting them in, organizing an event, and even for following up with them for fellowship. These are all important in executing a good evangelism activity. Second, the church will need to raise people to labor in the harvest field. They need to be equipped with the purity and knowledge of God’s truth. Lastly, good and effective evangelism takes a personal approach. You can use your own testimony to share about Jesus with others. Your personal encounter and testimony of God’s salvation and the transformation of your life by His grace is a very powerful tool in speaking about the Good News of Jesus.
It Takes Passion
Evangelism sprouts from a saved heart. Only a life who knows how it is to experience salvation can share about it. It is easy to talk about evangelism, but it is rather difficult to say it with complete understanding and fervor. Unless you encounter the grace of God yourself, you will not know how to extend it to others. We can only extend what we already have. There’s no way we can give out something that doesn’t come from within. Evangelism takes passion; a passion so strong that it can look beyond our present shame and suffering. The apostles were very passionate messengers of God’s Word. They preached with all strength and vigor (Acts 4:33).
The apostle Paul who, although wasn’t originally part of the twelve, has this intense passion in his heart in preaching the Word of God. He was able to reach various places outside Israel. Paul proclaimed the Good News to the Gentiles even when he faced an ample amount of trials. And when we say ample, there are loads of persecutions, imprisonments, beatings, and near-death experiences which Paul endured (2 Corinthians 11:23-27). Yet, the Apostle Paul persevered in spreading the Good News because he knew the power of God’s message and how it can transform lives. Paul’s faith in Christ was strong and he had a passionate heart. With his passionate heart, he had the overflowing compassion to take action to share the Gospel of Christ.
Evangelism Needs Equipping
The task of sharing the Good News comes with a great price. If anyone desires to evangelize, know that there is more to answering the question of ‘what is evangelism’. One must be well equipped with the teachings and truth of the Word of God. The Gospel is the most important message every Christian should proclaim but it does not mean that we can be careless about the other teachings of Jesus. Believers of Jesus who want to tell the world about His sacrifice should first be in love with the Word. Devoting our time to reading and meditating on the Word of God is an important practice to equip every believer with truths fundamental to sharing the message of salvation.
Moreover, we as Christians should clothe ourselves with compassion when we preach the Gospel. It is our love for others that allows us to speak about God’s message in any circumstance. Finally, the most challenging component for Christians to share the message of salvation is boldness. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit is able to give us the courage to proclaim Jesus’ death for our salvation. Have you ever felt scared to share Jesus with other people? It can be their rejection, persecution, or negative response that weakens your spirit. But don’t be troubled. The disciples of Jesus who were the first to proclaim the Gospel had once been run-away followers. Yet, God used them mightily as He gave them the characteristic of boldness. Ask God to cloak you with courage and confidence that is in Him alone as you commit to a life pronouncing His mighty works.
Jesus calls for His disciples to be witnesses of His truth. In a court of law, a witness takes an oath to speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help us, God. The Truth in the lips of Christ’s believers is far more powerful and crucial than any other truth. It specifically talks about life, eternal life. This truth is about real freedom from the chains of sin and darkness. It is the truth that we must desire for everyone to hear so they can be saved. You now have a grasp of the answer to the question of “what is evangelism” and its necessity. Now, the practice of sharing the Gospel begins with a life dedicated to witnessing Christ. Witnessing the truths of Jesus is quite different from evangelism for it does not only talk about preaching the Word but living it.
Bearing witness to the Savior can mean sharing our testimonies to other people or living a life pursuing the righteousness of God. This is our lives being testimonies to God’s mercy when we live by His Word. Like the apostles, we can become witnesses of Christ through the working power of the Holy Spirit. Let’s ask God’s Spirit to equip us with knowledge of what is evangelism, the passion to proclaim the Gospel, and the boldness to speak on Christ’s behalf.