Many “new” or “renewed” believers find the topic of Evangelism rather unsettling. The very word calls to their mind images of huge gatherings in stadiums or tents as a fiery Bible-waving preacher sputters and sweats over a podium. “I could never do that,” they say. Yet, there it is… the Great Commission to all believers, Christ’s last words and wishes — the last will of the first risen testator.
“Therefore go and 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…” (Matt. 28:19, 20a).
“That must just be a command for people gifted to preach,” one might say. But no… He is speaking to His disciples… to those who follow Him… those who love Him and have committed to obeying Him. Yes, there are those specifically gifted and subsequently called to mass meeting, perhaps cross-cultural, itinerant evangelism, but we are all called to share, to testify, to Christ… to be lights to a dark, dark world. (Matt. 5:16).
Peter knew the stomach churning regret of having evaded this duty. He thrice renewed his commitment and was strengthened. He spoke and now continues to speak: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” (1 Pet. 3:15).
So, you may ask, if not a mass crusade gathering what does evangelism look like expressed in my life, my world, my situation?
On page 101 of the First Steps One-on-One Discipleship adventure we are urged, “Ask the Lord to give you a burden for one person” and then “Commit to … praying” for this person (and perhaps others) “for whom the Lord has given you a burden.”
Admit it. The spiritual condition of every individual you run into in a day does not keep you up late every night with worry. That is as it should be. That would be a burden far too great to bear. As Jethro said to an overwrought Moses, “…you will only wear yourselves out….you cannot handle it alone.” (Exod. 18:18).
But God does have a mission for each believer. We must seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit: Who in our sphere is He convicting this day. What or how much is our role to play. “Always be prepared,” says Peter. How? He prefaces this with “…in your hearts revere Christ as Lord”… or, “Sanctify [or set apart] the Lord in your heart…”
We ask God to guide us, we make ourselves clean and available vessels ready for use, and as He leads, we speak. To His disciples about to face persecution and make defense of the gospel Jesus said, “…do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” (Matt.10:19) [See also Mark 13:11 & Luke 12:11,12].
Invite the Holy Spirit to direct your prayers for a specific individual. Pray faithfully for this person, and for specific opportunities to open to you. Keep short accounts with the Lord by confessing and avoiding known sin. When an opportunity appears, simply share Christ trusting in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results with God.
Are you interested in being discipled one-on-one in the fundamentals of new life in Christ? Or, perhaps you would you like to know how to begin this journey and take the very first of the First Steps by turning from your current path and committing your path to Christ? — Use the Contact page and we’ll get you started.