What image comes to your mind when you think of the word “evangelist?” Does it evoke enthusiasm to reach out to your friends and family members or do you have some negative associations that come to mind with the mere mention of the word? Unfortunately many people on hearing the word “evangelism” or “evangelist” immediately conjure up memories of infamous televangelists, known primarily for extracting large amounts of money from their well-meaning followers.
Here are some thoughts I’d like to share with you about evangelism, after reflecting on what Bill Hybels and Mark Mittelberg had to say in their book, “Becoming a Contagious Christian.”
They say that one of the biggest barriers to effective outreach is the problem of misconceptions. And that’s true on both sides of the evangelism equation.
On the seeker side, the misguided ideas people have about God’s character and His church, preclude them from making an open and honest spiritual church. Their inaccurate image of God and what serving Him would be like pushes them away from Him.
On the believer side of the equation, misconceptions about the outreach enterprise itself tend to inhibit people from getting involved. In fact, they are convinced that one of the greatest impediments to individuals in churches getting active in personal evangelism is that many Christians misunderstand what it actually entails. The dreaded “E” word fills them with fear and guilt.
As Dr. D. T Niles once said, “Evangelism is one beggar telling another beggar where to find food.” Peter in his first epistle in Vs. 15 – 16 said, “And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way.”
I want to encourage you to share the good news of Jesus with someone this week, what God has done and is doing in your life. There’s no one ‘right way’ to spread the gospel message. Just say it, just do it. If you don’t share your story, there will be no other who can do it for you. God bless you.