Recently, I have been spending a lot of time with my friend who has been grappling with the idea of God all his life. Over the last few weeks we have seen some incredible answers to prayer, and a heightened receptiveness to God in his life. This has come after a realization of the fundamental importance of evangelism and outreach within my social circles and beyond. In response, I’ve been prompted me to delve deeper into the concept of evangelism and how it should look practically in our daily lives. So, I've come up with three practical elements of evangelism to share with you.
In the legal industry, we often break words or phrases into unique characteristics. We call these 'elements.' Proper interpretation of these elements assists us in deciphering the meaning of the phrase or word in question. So, I thought I'd employ a similar tactic to tackling the idea of 'evangelism,' being somewhat of a buzzword in Christian circles.
Evangelism is observational
I believe that as Christians, we should be actively looking for opportunities to engage in interaction with those who may not know God. God isn't calling us to wait for a sign or for a special moment, it's an everyday thing. As such, we must be observant of the environment around us, displaying Christ always and then being ready and willing to converse about our faith with others. After all, this is the great commission, that we
‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation’ (Mark 16:15 NIV)
As daunting as this might seem, making disciplines of all nations need not be intimidating - it starts at home, in university, the workplace, and in your friendship circle. It's not difficult in the modern world to find someone willing to hear the hope that we have to share.
Evangelism is loving and personal
When sharing with others about God, it must come from a place of genuine love, care and concern for the person. It's always quite easy to see when someone just wants to engage in debate rather than meaningful conversation. After all,
‘If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal’ (1 Corinthians 13:1 NIV)
We show this love through willingness to go out of our way for someone else. This may take the form of regular invitations to church, or giving of your time, effort or resources to that person, even if they may not deserve it. When people around you observe the joy that you hold, it really is contagious. These actions speak volumes as to the faith that you hold and stand out distinctively in today's society as counter-cultural traits.
Evangelism is spirit-filled
When sharing Christ with others, we must acknowledge that while we may put forward the most articulate and intellectually compelling of arguments, ultimately it is the Holy Spirit governs these interactions, and He is the one who does the heart work. For,
‘I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow’ (1 Corinthians 3:6-7 NIV)
We must therefore appreciate that sometimes, where human tendencies to win an argument come into play, we submit and respond to his Will, knowing that not everyone will be immediately receptive to our petition. As such, we display Christ through our handling of that situation, and willingness to walk beside that person; setting an example, until another opportunity arises.
Essence of Evangelism
Evangelism is an outpouring of the love the God showed for us. Our heart breaks when we see others who are not destined for the eternal joy that we have, and so we desire to respond to that call.
David is law & accounting student, elite athlete & business owner, from Brisbane, Australia.
David Lean is law & accounting student, elite athlete & business owner, from Brisbane, Australia.