The Evangelism Habit
Living a Life of Sharing Christ
November 1, 2004 - John and Nancy were my youth leaders. They instilled in our youth group the idea that we don't have the choice of participating in evangelism. They didn't put us on a guilt trip, like, "If you don't tell people about Jesus, then He doesn't love you." Instead, they had the attitude of "Why wouldn't everyone want to hear the Good News, and why wouldn't you want to be the ones to tell people?"
by Jose Zayas
For most people, engaging naturally in evangelism will take a paradigm shift. We need to see that we don't do mission, but that life is mission. Evangelism is about sharing Jesus as a habit—like drinking coffee in the morning. What if communicating the love of Christ was that natural—like turning the coffeemaker on? Imagine church bodies coming together and rejoicing because we can share Christ—rather than saying, "Do we have to do this?" We get burned out on the doing when the reality is that evangelism is about being.
In Acts 1:8 Jesus says, "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses" (NIV). The power to witness comes from Jesus in you. You just need to be you and look for God-given opportunities. Jesus was with sinners—tax collectors, a prostitute, a woman caught in adultery. The relentless pursuit to be where sinners are and to love them no matter what, like Jesus did—that's the kind of lifestyle that needs to be in vogue.
Witnessing starts with common ground. Jesus didn't ask people to come to Him; He went to where they were. And the Apostle Paul, in his strategy, also went to where people were. He went to the synagogue, to the marketplace and to where people were congregating.
What do you already love to do? What are you already involved in? What excites you? What are you passionate about? Do those things for the glory of God by finding people who like to do those things and loving them.
Pray something like, "God, give me the time and the resources to get engaged in this activity, and I will find people who don't know You and establish common ground." Pray bold prayers.
Common ground leads to conversation, and conversation leads to connection. If people don't know I care about them, they're not going to talk with me, and they're not going to connect with the message I believe to be true so that ultimately they might move to the stage of conversion. Faith often comes in stages; it doesn't always happen overnight. Stick with your friends through those stages.
Be inspired by Acts 11:20-21: "Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. The Lord's hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord" (NIV).
What kind of fresh vision is waiting for you if you ask God to break your paradigm, to break your way of doing things? What kind of ministry is waiting for you if you'll open yourself up to the Spirit of God?
God in heaven, break us from mind-sets that are old and stale. Break us from traditions that are meaningless. Break us from barriers we've raised to those who are not yet Christians. We ask You this in faith, believing that You will stir us as You stirred the early Church. Amen.