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“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”—Mark 16:15 (NKJV)
A 2017 study from the American Culture and Faith Institute (ACFI) reports “only two out of every ten adults (20%) believe they have a personal responsibility to share their faith in Christ with others who believe differently.” Furthermore, according to Greg Laurie’s book Tell Someone: You Can Share the Good News, “95% of all Christians have never led another person to Christ.” Jesus has given us our orders, yet a majority of us balk.
This isn’t meant to shame anyone; however, when I see these stats, I have a sobering awareness that as ambassadors for Christ we are falling short of His command to share the good news. So, setting shame aside, let’s look at what the Lord tells us to encourage evangelism. 2 Chronicles 16:9 (NKJV) says, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.”
Don’t fear you aren’t qualified or experienced enough to share the gospel. All that’s needed is a willing heart. It is God at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). Jesus said, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you” (Acts 18:9-10 NKJV). Acts 2:4 (NKJV) tells us, “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
Another fear is not knowing what to say or wondering if you have the gift of evangelism. The first disciples were like us– ordinary people given extraordinary power from the Holy Spirit to speak and be understood. The Spirit will give you the words to say (Luke 12:12). John 4:39 (NKJV) says, “And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, ‘He told me all that I ever did.’”
You don’t have to know the Bible by heart to share the heart of the good news. Just as the Samaritan’s woman’s personal testimony changed the lives of her community, so can your testimony impact the lives of people in your circle. Also, lifestyle evangelism speaks volumes. Be imitators of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). Love the lost and interact with them. For we are told, “Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor” (1 Corinthians 3:8 NKJV).
Let’s agree you have been evangelizing—spreading the seeds of the gospel. Excellent! Even if you don’t see results, you’ve done what God has asked you to do. He will do the rest (1 Corinthians 3:7). And finally, let’s be encouraged by Philemon 1:6 (NIV), which says “I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ.”
PAUSE: What does evangelism mean? Is it a gift or a calling for all believers?
PRACTICE: Before you think you are not qualified to evangelize, read 2 Corinthians 4:7. Think about Moses, Gideon, Jonah, Mary, Peter, and many more ordinary people whom God used.
PRAY: Father, You chose me to shine light in dark places, to go and tell others about Your Son Jesus. Give me the boldness, strength, and wisdom to carry out this great work in my home, neighborhood, community, and everywhere else You send me. Amen.
Lisa Supp lives in Utah and has served within the CCFL Web and Prayer Ministry since 2011. She also volunteers as an editor on the CCFL Prayer Wall and is a writer on the Communications Team. Retired from teaching, Lisa and her husband Ron volunteer at their local Calvary Chapel and share a passion for Scripture, apologetics, and education.