The Necessity of Evangelism

Doing real evangelism in a contemporary world demands a correct biblical understanding of the process of evangelism and awareness to the Christian’s responsibility to evangelize.  Relying on pastors, church staff, or a select few to do the work of evangelism will no longer suffice when proper understanding is realized. McRaney states, “When we trust Christ, we become servants and ambassadors of the King, which implies that all of us are to share His message … Evangelism is a command, not just a gift for a select few.  Biblically the evangelist was given to the church as a position, role, office, or function, but evangelism is not just for a select few.” Furthermore, Christians who take seriously their responsibility of being salt and light in the world are desperately needed by the world.  Isolation and creating a subculture among Christians is contrary to the commissioning of Christ (Mt. 28:19-20); instead, involvement in the planting, watering, and weeding process of evangelism (1 Cor. 3:6-9) is paramount if lost people are to be saved and disciples are to be made.  Earley states, “Light is useless until it comes in contact with darkness … In the same way salt is useless until it gets out of the shaker and makes contact.  As long as salt is isolated in its shaker with the other salt, it does no one any good.”  Along the same thread of thought, seed that is not planted in soil is useless as well.  The seed is the word of God and Christians must get their hands dirty by plowing the soil of unbelievers’ hearts and spreading the seed in a presentable and humble manner among the lost in order for their misconceptions and misperceptions about the gospel to be dispelled.  
 
Concerning the aforementioned reality, the church must understand the process of evangelism and do its best to discern when to “plow the soil, plant the seed, water the seed, and wait for God to bring the harvest … [because] effective evangelism understands that before there can be a harvest, the soil of the unbeliever’s heart must be plowed, planted, and watered first.”  Personal testimonies can clear up misconceptions and misperceptions people have about the gospel because they are personal experiences that proclaim the truth of salvation.  However, doing real evangelism in a contemporary world requires for the Christian to discern the process of evangelism (plowing, planting, watering, weeding) as it relates to the person(s) he/she is trying to reach with the gospel.  Real evangelism requires a bridge to be built from the believer to the unbeliever in order to share the gospel and personal testimony is possibly the best method to utilize.  Personal testimonies reveal to others what Christ has done in the believer’s life by sharing what life was like before Christ and how Christ has changed one’s life after meeting Him.  Recover testimonies reveal how Jesus has helped one overcome a problem or met a need in one’s life.  Such testimonies break down the walls of misconceptions and misperceptions because the biblical truth of salvation has become a reality for the one sharing his/her testimony.
 
Additionally, personal and recovery testimonies are great tools to assist in the evangelism process of plowing, planting, watering, and weeding the unbeliever’s heart. Christians must trust God through the process and rely on Him to bring the increase and the desired result of salvation to unbelievers.  Let it be known, this process will be messy.
 
By: Caleb L. Crooms
Youth & Discipleship Director
Florida Church of God Executive Office

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