When you hear the word evangelism, what comes to mind? C’mon, we’re all picturing the same thing. It’s that person standing on the street corner angrily shouting about why you should follow Jesus. That may be one way to share the message, but it’s not the only way, and it certainly doesn’t make anyone feel all warm and fuzzy inside. In fact, all that yelling makes people turn around and walk away. Yep, that’s me headed for the door, and I bet most of you are, too.
But what if evangelism wasn’t exactly what you thought. What if sharing your faith wasn’t something you did, but rather the way you lived. I think we all can attest to the fact that simply telling people about Jesus doesn’t convince them to become a Christian. You have to show them who Jesus is and what you believe before you can point them in His direction. When your words and your actions serve as an example of what a relationship with God looks like, your faith will draw people in instead of driving them away.
Evangelism isn’t what makes us uncomfortable, it’s the method of delivery that does. Start with a clean slate and begin painting a new picture of what sharing your faith looks like. You are God’s great plan to reach the people around you. Yes, you. Evangelism is about actively pursuing people and, instead of overwhelming them with information they’re not ready for, getting to know them-- their hopes, their fears, their doubts, and everything in between. It’s building relationships by inviting people into your life and showing them how you live as a Christian. It doesn’t require you to be anyone else but your true self.
Lots of people think there’s a script they’re supposed to memorize and share with people who don’t know Jesus. You don’t have to be a Bible scholar, nor do you need to be able to win a debate with every non-Christian that challenges your beliefs. Who you are is your message. Every interaction you have is a testimony to what you believe to be true about God.
So how do we start redefining our role and understanding our responsibility to pass on our faith to the people around us? We’ve recently released our new study, Everyday Evangelism. This free 2-part study helps us understand what it looks like to be a Christian and share our faith in today's culture. It takes a look at the most important part of evangelism and the 5 Thresholds of Faith. Check it out on groupleaders.org and think about how it might fit into your group’s plan for the fall. Go ahead, and take the leap into evangelism. I promise, there’s absolutely no shouting required!