“Do you know Jesus?”
I ask this question to almost every person I meet these days. From the lady who identifies as same-sex attracted at the drive-through window, to the balding millionaire loading up his car outside a high end shopping mall.
Just two days ago I spent over an hour with a dear Muslim man off the back of asking him that very question.
When people hear my stories, when they see my life, they often thank me for the example I set, but then proceed to explain to me why they could never do what I do.
“Thanks Andrew… but I’m not an Evangelist!”
I can’t tell you how often I hear that line or something similar. “Wow, Andrew, you’re so inspiring, you have a real gift of evangelism… but I’m not an Evangelist.”
Let’s be honest, I don’t even know if I am one either. I often find myself wondering if I’m actually a Prophet, or maybe more of an Apostle, sometimes I think I might even be a Pastor… but I’ll tell you what I KNOW I am, I’m a follower of Jesus.
When Jesus called His disciples to follow Him, evangelism wasn’t an optional part of their calling. It wasn’t an additional elective to their training. It wasn’t a special program they could sign up for on the side. He sent all of His disciples out two by two to preach the gospel, cast out demons, and heal the sick. (See Mark 6: 6-13).
They had said yes to Jesus, and as a result, they had said yes to evangelism.
Evangelism simply means the advocacy of a cause (Oxford Languages), for Christians this the advocacy of the Gospel, the preaching or demonstrating (or both) of the good news that Jesus Christ came to save sinners, that His Kingdom is at hand.
If we call ourselves Christians, evangelism is our mandate even if we aren’t called to the office of Evangelist.
Let me ask you a question, what are you most passionate about? Is it a sporting team, a hobby of yours, a social justice issue, your girlfriend, your new car? Now let me ask you another question, do you struggle to talk to others about this?
If you aren’t sharing your faith, you need to check your passion.
It’s not that you can’t share your faith, it’s that it isn’t gripping you the way it could. Check your spiritual thermometer, and if it isn’t burning hot then you need to get into the fire of God’s presence and ask Him to burn you up with a passion for Him once again.
Once you’ve fallen in love with Jesus again you won’t be finding excuses not to share your faith, you’ll be finding excuses to share your faith! Spend long enough in His presence and you will hear His call.
William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, once said, in response to the comment that one is not called to Evangelism.
“Not called!’ did you say?
‘Not heard the call,’ I think you should say.
Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father’s house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face — whose mercy you have professed to obey — and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world.”
When Jesus sent His disciples out with the great commission He didn’t say, “Go therefore into all the world and make disciples, baptizing them*… except for you, you’re an introvert, and as for you you’re a woman, you’re off the hook because you are a man, actually you over there you’re two short, you’re more of a Prophet than an Evangelist, ah you’re a Pastor so you don’t need to do this either…”
You get the point.
(* This clearly means Jesus is saying to make new disciples through evangelism as new converts were to be baptized.)
So, it’s time to lay down our excuses.
It’s time to fall in love with Jesus again.
It’s time to get His heart for the lost once more.
It’s time to preach the gospel.
PS- I know from experience that many of you will feel condemned by this blog post, not inspired. But know that the heart of this post is conviction not condemnation. Condemnation comes from the devil, conviction comes from Holy Spirit. Acknowledging something needs to change is the first step towards beginning to share your faith. Here’s a great training to help you share your faith in just one minute- You’ve got this!
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