Evangelism has a bad rap. In secular culture, it means a T.V. preacher stealing people’s money to grow a very unholy kingdom under the guise of holiness. To some in the political arena, it means conservative Republicans who want to beat their morality into a secular culture by force of law. To some in Church World, it means getting out of your comfort zone and having people think of you as weird because of you’re going to try to sell them some Jesus — or some Jaayzusss. But it is none of those things.
Okay, okay, okay . . . you might have to get out of your comfort zone a bit, but it isn’t selling Jesus.
An evangelist is simply a bringer of good tidings. That’s it. He or she is someone who delivers the good news. In regards to Christianity, the good news is that Jesus saves people from a whole host of uglies. Uglies like sin, hell, and worldly chains. He rescues marriages, and careers, and families.
Evangelism doesn’t mean persuading someone to believe that stuff. It doesn’t mean convincing someone that they’re wrong. It doesn’t mean showing them that you’re right. Those certainly can be part of the evangelism process, but they’re not necessary for it. All that is necessary is to share the good news. The best way to share that good news is to tell others what God has done for you. After that, the Holy Spirit does the rest.
And the rest that he does is an incredible amount. Benefits to evangelism are significant, numerous, and huge. It deepens our faith by putting us close to the action so that we can see the supernatural power of God as he rescues people from despair. It sharpens our knowledge so that if someone asks us a question we have a good answer. It causes us to work in familial concert with our fellow Christians so that we can encourage one another in the work that God has given us. And it does so much more than I can write in this short blog. But one of the biggest benefits is how it impacts your church, or your local faith community. Listen to what Paul tells the church at Colossae (Colossians 1:5-6). He reminds them of how the good news changed their lives, made them into a church, and is now producing fruit wherever it is heard! The gospel, or the good news, grows churches! If you want your church to grow, then be sure to evangelize. If you want the kingdom of God to spread in this dark world, then evangelize. And all that means is telling people about what God has done for you!