Why I Evangelize and Love It

I’ve made a habit these days of asking myself, “Why do I do what I do?”

Why do I eat what I eat? Wear what I wear? Say what I say? Think what I think? Go where I go? Live how I live?

Why do I do it?

Today’s thought: I love to share the gospel with people, and I do so on a regular basis. But why?

Why do I share the gospel? And why do I love it?

My evangelism background goes something like this . . .

I read a tract to a young girl when I was less than 12 years of age, and she “prayed the sinner’s prayer.” I later realized I had no idea what I was doing. As is the case for many Christians, evangelism became incredibly intimidating and, thus, infrequent. Until a friend showed me some simple steps to evangelism. I quickly learned that evangelism is . . . a bit intimidating, yes, but also one of the most amazing things ever!

evangelism

I started organizing small witnessing events. Then, as God would have it, I began serving at a pregnancy resource center, where I was truly overjoyed to find that sharing the gospel would be a regular and vital part of my mentoring responsibilities.

With these weekly opportunities and the occasional witnessing event, I now consider evangelism to be a significant part of my life. And I love it.

But why?

Is it because my friend does? Because it’s fun? Because it makes me look good? Because it gives me some kind of thrill?

Or is it because I should. Because I’m commanded to do so. Because – the Bible leads me there.

That’s the answer I’m looking for.

But, interestingly enough, the Bible doesn’t tell me to evangelize or to love evangelism. The word “evangelist” [euaggelistes] appears three times. Let’s consider each.

1. Phillip was an evangelist (Acts 21:8).

Way to go, Phillip.

2. Some were gifted to be evangelists.

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds, and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ. Eph 4:11-12

Note these are distinctly male positions in the church. But gender aside, it is clear that not all are gifted to be evangelists.

3. Timothy was told to “do the work of an evangelist” (2 Tim 4:5).

It doesn’t say he was an evangelist. It says he should do the work an evangelist does. I enjoy sharing the gospel on a regular basis. That makes me neither a missionary nor an evangelist, but rather someone who simply enjoys sharing the gospel regularly.

But we still haven’t answered my question.

So the Bible doesn’t tell me to evangelize, per se. But what about . . .

Always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you the reason for the hope that is in you. 1 Pet 3:15

“But that’s when they ask,” you say.

Might as well initiate. When I ask them about their “hope,” many will politely ask me about mine.

Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. How are they to hear without someone preaching? Rom 10:14, 17

“Preaching” denotes the simple act of proclamation. Someone must proclaim the gospel. Why not me?

[The gospel] is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. Rom 1:16

I have the gospel of salvation, and I know how to find people who need saving. The logical conclusion would be to find them and share it, yes?

Evangelism for the Christian, then, is a no-brainer. Perhaps the bigger question is, Why do I love it?

Because I’ve done it. I’ve walked up to people who eyed me skeptically, some barely offering a word, others asking question after question. I’ve sat across from dozens of “Christians” who recognize the problem of sin, who “believe in God,” who know about Jesus’ death on the cross, and who hope they’ll get to heaven someday riding solely on the powerless train of good works. I’ve met many a wandering soul staring hopelessly into the emptiness of life, and I’ve answered the longing through the words, “Jesus saves.” I’ve talked to self-proclaimed “atheists,” individuals who have never considered eternity, and others who stood with jaw literally dropped, blurting out, “He really came back to life?”

And in every instance – with every person – I walk away with a deep sense of sympathy and compassion, a great and powerful urgency, and a smile on my face that gives but a tiny glimpse into the inescapable wonder and delight rising up in my heart.

The gospel mercifully reached even me, and I have the pure joy of telling the world.

That is why I evangelize. And that is why I love it.

 [image credit: Wikipedia Commons & journeyoftheword.com]


43 thoughts on “Why I Evangelize and Love It

  1. Beautiful post. Why do you evangelize? Because you’ve been filled with His Love, Joy, Faith and Hope and it can’t help but flow out of you, as He resides in you. Evangelism is after all, loving, as Christ loves. He sees the needy around you and directs them to you. Love how he placed you in that center to minister to pregnant women.

    We had a Scandinavian group visit our church and they explained that every single one of us is called to evangelism: after all, we all carry Jesus in us (if we’ve asked Him in). And they encouraged us to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. Jesus had an incredible healing ministry: but look closely and you’ll see what’s behind it – it’s a means for Him to show His Love in action…and leads to a greater healing (that of their hearts). So, I was so enthused that I stopped a man on the street who was limping to ask to pray for him. He thought it was sweet of me, but declined the offer. After chatting some, I left praying over him from afar, telling God that I believed He had the power to heal from afar because I rememberd the story of the Roman centurion. Well, a week later I had to leave church early because my kids refused to settle. I was busy getting angry at God in my head (I LOVE Sunday services, especially because my husband thendoesn’t share my faith), lo and behold, as I walk out the church gates I meet the same man I’d prayed for! He was walking fine, mentioned running 10km the day before and told me it was most likely the cream he picked up at the chemist! I smiled and said nothing…but later regretted that as I biked away, so prayed to meet him again, as I could no longer see him. Five minutes later I did! So, I went and told him I’d prayed and that I believed that God had healed him to show him just how much He loves him. The man smiled broadly…I left it at that…leaving God to do His work as the man wished me a happy Sunday. What I love about this is: our church is in an ugly industrial type area (not really a place to be walking around at 10:30am!), he was the ONLY person near and far to be seen, he was literally at the gates of the church exactly when I biked out with my girls, I was angry at God! (grace!), and that I saw him.again after praying. It’s got God written all over it! Isn’t He incredible!

    I’ve had several of these moments and always as I’ve been struggling most and pouring out my (desperately selfish) heart…but just like God says, as we draw near to Him, He does to us. Me “getting angry” with God was unheard of until very recently…but God has been showing me the need to confess what’s in me, so He can release it and encourage me to trust Him. And lately one after the other of the people in the Bible I’ve been studying are men who’ve dared to be SUPER angry with God (David, Job, Jeremiah…to name just a few!).

    Okay, sorry for the digression: just to point out it is completely and utterly His work in and through me as I evangelize, not my own: I’m the potter, He’s the clay, I’m the vessel, He’s the Love pouring out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve done all sorts of evangelizing over the years and go door to door on a regular basis, but for me, the best form of evangelism is making connections with people. I’ve been guilty of mindlessly handing people an invitation and doing things by rote…. but when a genuine connection is made between two people it’s evident that there is more than just a ‘i want to tell you about my faith’ kind of an introduction.

    Thank you for sharing!

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    1. So true! Relationship-building is an important and effective approach, for sure! I was very hesitant to hand someone a tract at first because it seemed very impersonal. My friend encouraged me by explaining how to make even the giving of a tract more personal, and also by realizing that hearing the gospel in a random conversation by a perfect stranger may be the very thing that reaches some. So personally, I’ve found walking up to perfect strangers in the park (or speaking with pregnancy center clients whom I may or may not ever see again) to be highly effective, not as cold as one may think, and a way (ONE way – there are many more) for me to be active in evangelism. Not to mention…when I schedule these events, meet with clients, etc., it happens. When I leave it up to my day-to-day relationships, it doesn’t happen (partly because I don’t otherwise encounter non-believers on a regular basis). That’s *not* an excuse. I should be striving to build relationships with non-Christians and to share the gospel when trust has been built, etc., so you can pray for me about that! But just wanted to encourage you – there are many ways to share our faith! The important thing is that we’re doing it! Thanks again for sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lydia, I love your fire for what you believe and the conviction you hold. Write on sister! Keep spreading the love that you do and keep spreading the message of who Christ is. I’ve yet to find the courage to randomly walk up to someone to proclaim the Lord is our Savior as I am one to, like Lillian, make relationships and connections with people. I love who God places on our paths to light up their life with who He is. That’s the great news of God. Thanks so much for sharing and linking to Open Mic Monday at Cisneros Cafe. See you next week! 🙂

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    1. Thanks so much! I will pray God will use you mightily where you are and that he will give you many gospel-sharing opportunities with people you know. That can be such a powerful thing!

      Also, one little tip regarding the courage to “randomly walk up to someone” is: do it just once! Just once! Because I think you’ll be hooked! 😉 Just walk up and say something like, “Hi, can I ask you some questions about your religious background?” Then ask them if they grew up in church, or what they think about eternity, or if they would consider themselves “Christian,” etc. Once they’ve shared their thoughts, they’re much more willing to listen to yours, so then there’s your opportunity to share the Truth!

      But again this is just one of many ways to do it. Most important is our heart and our availability.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am enjoying read everyone’s post. I am brand new here and a new blogger. Beautiful post. It is something that is becoming more rare these days. It can be a number of reasons but fear is usually one of them. It’s amazing thing how Jesus ministered to the thousands yet his specialty was the 1 on 1. He talked their language and they opened up. He read their mail. What an amazing example.

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  5. Hi Lydia, evangelism sure can seem intimidating! I find that when I am in the Word, walking closely with God, I am willing to share Christ from the overflow of my heart. The challenge I have is when I get sucked into my own little world and I forget that there are others searching for hope. I pray that whatever our reasons, that Christ is preached!
    Wishing you blessings!
    Marva | sunSPARKLEshine

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  6. Lydia, Thank you for sharing such an edifying post.

    Your insights on the Scripture verses regarding evangelism were very interesting. I had never thought about, “Timothy was told to “do the work of an evangelist” (2 Tim 4:5).” in the way that you describe it, but you are absolutely right. Timothy was not an evangelist, but was told to do the “work of an evangelist”. What a key verse!

    I was so blessed by my visit here tonight. 🙂

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  7. We all are saved to be co-labour with God to save others. God expects everyone believer to make disciples for Him, hence His command in Mark 16:15
    Like you Lydia, He saved me. And I can’t even begin to tell the THINGS He saved me from.
    Thanks for sharing and encouraging us to be extensions of God’s hands.

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  8. Lydia, I love this post because it reminds me of why I love to do what I love to do! Evangelism can come in many forms and through anybody. I’m thinking of this week as the tomb was rolled away who God sent to be the evangelists to tell the others that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead and guess what, it wasn’t a man! Many times in scripture women became evangelists spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ and doing God’s work. Man, will say there are distinctive roles for women in the church,(depending upon the church doctrine) or the History of what is going on at the time. However, if God says there is neither Greek, nor Jew, neither female or male I believe this is God telling us we are truly one in Christ! Galatians 3:28 (NLT) 28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. The enemy wants us to believe we are under the law and we have no voice, but we are free in Christ. So the reason I share this is because for years, I was living under religious hypocrisy in a church which lead me to believe I wasn’t suppose to lead, preach, teach etc. and I struggled because I could not understand if God had given me these abilities then why was I not supposed to use them and God revealed to me it was the enemy’s deception and he is still using it today against women to silence our voices. I love to evangelize too and I will not apologize for being who God created me to be 🙂 Thank You for sharing such an encouraging post and for being His voice. You truly are Jesus Glitter!

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    1. Thanks so much for your sweet encouragement! Wow, you such some great thoughts here. The topic of women’s roles in the church is a tricky one! I really need to give it some more thought myself, as I, too, want to know what God says about these things and form my “position” based on that! I certainly agree that women are not excluded from the work and joy of evangelism! I have written a few articles related to some things you mentioned, in case you’re interested:
      https://journeyoftheword.com/2016/01/20/the-women-in-your-life-eleven-lessons-to-learn-live-and-teach/
      https://journeyoftheword.com/2016/03/08/women-working-at-home-what-does-it-mean-and-does-it-apply-today/
      https://journeyoftheword.com/2014/12/05/to-preach-or-not-to-preach/
      https://journeyoftheword.com/2016/02/21/live-as-people-who-arent-free/

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  9. God has given you a beautiful gift. To be honest… I’m awkward when I evangelise, unless I’m already in relationship with a person. So when I deliver the message of CHrist, it’s often after months (and sometimes years) of interacting with an individual.

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely Easter weekend.
    xoxo

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    1. God has given YOU a gift! I think it’s amazing when people build relationships with people to the point of sharing the gospel with them. I am so weak in that area. As I build relationships, I become more and more timid about sharing. So, yes, keep it up!

      I will say, I’m awkward when I evangelize, too. But my awkwardness has decreased the more I do it! That is part of the reason why I schedule witnessing events – to “force” myself to do something I would otherwise neglect because of fear or discomfort.

      So, may I encourage you? – Don’t give up simply because you feel awkward about it! God loves to use weak people!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Lydia, thank you for the amazing post! Found you through Coffee and Conversation, and so glad I did. I’m new to this, so I’m currently trying to figure out my role as a Christian in spreading the good news. I’m introverted, so I love to write about God, but it’s hard for me to figure out what my job as a Christian is when I’m face to face with people. Any suggestions?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I love your blog! So, I say keep writing about God and His Word for sure!

      When it comes to interacting with people in “real life,” wow, that’s tough one! The evangelism I write about in this article is scheduled. Meaning, it’s a regular part of my life, but it’s not everyday. I’m striving to become so evangelism-minded that every encounter every day is an opportunity and one that I’m likely to take. But, I have a long ways to go! So, for me, it helps to schedule it. I counsel (and thus evangelize) at the pregnancy center weekly, so when I have a client in front of me, there’s an opportunity that I can’t ignore. I organize witnessing events, because then it’s on my calendar. As for everyday encounters, those are tough because I’m busy, I’m distracted, the circumstances aren’t ideal, etc. All my excuses! So, you can certainly pray for me about that!

      Anyway, I don’t know if I’m answering your question or not, but here are a few suggestions:

      1) Find what works for you. It’s likely to be different than what works for me! So don’t feel like you have to copy the methods of others.

      2) Pray for wisdom and guidance. Pray for opportunities to share and to reach people. If your heart is there, God will lead you!

      3) A smile and a word of truth go a long way! You don’t have to have a lengthy conversation to share truth! While I prefer to explain the gospel in its entirety verbally, sometimes that’s not feasible.

      I highly encourage you to buy some tracts {my friend has some great resources here: http://tomorrowsforefathers.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=109&Itemid=115}.

      Carry them with you at all times! Then when the opportunity presents itself (pumping gas, buying groceries, doctor’s office, walk in the park, etc.), just walk up and say something like,

      “Hello, can I offer you a booklet about the resurrection today? Many people have questions and wonder whether Jesus really rose from the dead. This booklet might answer some of your questions. Have a great day!”

      {That’s my Easter example – my friend has a great booklet for that.}

      Done! Three sentences! You can write them out and memorize them before you go!

      So, those would be some evangelism suggestions to get you started! But there are also many other ways to reach, teach, impact, serve, give, etc. So, again, I would say, pray for wisdom and direction! God delights to do amazing things through people like you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much! I will definitely keep praying about it. I probably do need it scheduled into my day, so that way there’s always an opportunity available. You are amazing and thank you so much for your help!

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  11. I really admire your boldness. Sometimes it’s scary for me to approach people, but especially strangers. I’ve done it with outreach groups and have always left feeling blessed. I love the days when God gives me what I call “divine appointments” when I see someone in passing and the conversation turns to God. A few weeks ago I was able to share Jesus in the parking lot of the gym and I literally got chills sharing about the death and resurrection of Jesus. It amazes me that God chooses to use us to spread His Word! It’s truly an honor! Thank you for sharing this at #100HappyDays!

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  12. What a blessing you are! There are so many people that receive the gift of salvation, and then are terrified to tell others about it. I enjoyed your post very much and appreciate you sharing with #SocialButterflySunday! Hope to see you link up again this week 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I love sharing my faith on my blog. It is my mission field. I think it wonderful that you love to evangelize and serve Jesus, letting all know about His saving grace. Thanks for sharing with us on the #LMMLinkup.

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  14. I found that the best way for me to share the gospel and what could be considered evangelism is sharing my story. My story is powerful and an excellent example of His love, redemption and restoration. It’s all about Him and what He has done in my life. It offers hope to the hopeless.
    Thanks for linking up with Grace and Truth.

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  15. This was so encouraging to me–thank you! I haven’t done a whole lot of evangelizing (not proud to say that), but in the times that I have, God is giving more and more of a love and desire to get out of my comfort zone and share with others.

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  16. Hi Lydia, I am going to feature part of your post!
    On my blog it’s a miniseries
    I will. Like to throw a spotlight on your article. I hope it’s ok?

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