My friend and colleague Matt Dabbs published a recent blog post which he titled with the question “Have We Lost Our Love for the Lost?” That is a question we ought to pause on for a while and consider.
Let me say a couple of things about evangelism and then I’ll explain why I am writing this post. First, I don’t want to pretend that evangelism is an easy thing. There are many variables that contribute to effective evangelism, just as there are many variables that can inhibit effective evangelism. Secondly, when evangelism is understood as disciple-making like Jesus commissioned his disciples for (cf. Matt 28.19), the challenge increases.
I’m not wanting to make excuses for churches failing to evangelize. I’m just trying to allude to some of the challenges that come with being effective at evangelism.
Having said that, there are some practical things that every Christian can do to be more evangelistic.
- Be hospitable to others. Invite people into your home. If you are having a group of friends from church over to your house, make sure to include a visitor. Invite the visitor back for some coffee and conversation. Also, accept an invitation into other people’s homes if you are given one.
- Give away a Bible. Purchase some Bible’s such as this NIV Outreach Bible to give away to those you are inviting into your home, engaging in conversation with, and so on. You might be surprised by how many people are searching for God but don’t own their own copy of a Bible.
- Invite those seeking God to read the Bible. One you’ve invited someone to your house for coffee or tea and given them a Bible, invite them to read it with you. Don’t worry about whether you understand everything or whether the person you are reading with asks questions that you don’t have an answer to. Just keep reading and let God take care of the rest in his time.
These are all practical and simple steps that can result in more evangelism. Some people might find themselves feeling timid. I understand, sort of. My advice is to pray. I must pray to God asking him to make me become more aware of those around me who are searching for him because I can get so caught up in what I am doing, that I miss what God is doing. So if your struggle is timidity, pray. If your struggle is a burden for the lost, pray.
Earlier this week I met with a local Muslim leader in his house. He invited me, a stranger to him, into his house‒his personal space‒to have a conversation about our beliefs. I suspected he was motivated some by the desire to evangelize me to Islam because he wanted to read some of the Quran with me as he explained his belief. Then he gave me a free copy of the Quran to keep and read.
We Christians, if we truly believe Jesus is the Lord and Savior, can and should be willing to do the same!