Practical Tips to Keep You Faithful in Evangelism
There is a lot to be said about evangelism (and much that needs to be said because it's not done enough or when it is done it is often missing the mark), but today I simply want to share some practical applications for you and for your family. Here are 7 things, plus a bonus for parents, that anyone can do to facilitate growth in this area of our walk with Jesus. Recently, we did a webinar on Evangelism - you can check that out as well if you would like a more in-depth understanding of the Christian's role in witnessing.
I) Fast and Pray
This is especially important if you're not actively evangelizing and you haven't in a long time, or if you haven't ever really understood what it is or how it works. Fast and pray, really. Meet with the Lord in prayer about this. I would encourage you during that time to also check your priorities in life, and seek the Lord to align them according to His will.
Ask yourself things like, "For what purpose am I still here? Why am I living? Is Christ the center of my life? Or am I the center of my life? What is the center of my life?" Jesus should be the center of our lives, that's where true life is. We're called to live all of life for Him.
To really check your priorities, do what I call The Lordship Test. I was first made aware of this practice when I studied at SBI. It's something we all should do once in a while in our life. Just pause, stop and draw a little house on a piece of paper. Then put brick shapes on the house. Next, write the following words on each of those bricks. "My finances". Then ask, "Who do these belong to? Who's lord of my finances? Am I lord or is Jesus?"
Then write, "My relationships", "My friendships", "My marriage", etc...
Ask, "Who is Lord of these? Is it me? Or is it Jesus? Who's running my relationships?" Do the same with your money, resources, and even your time. How are you using your time? How are you using your smartphone? Who's lord of your smartphone? Let us remember that we are to use this also in the way God would have us. When you watch YouTube? Who's lord of that for you? Are you watching what the Lord would have you watch?
Go through all the different areas of your life. This practice is so helpful for disciples of Jesus Christ to reevaluate their actual priorities once in a while. You will be astonished if you actually do this heart test before the Lord. It is helpful to reconsider whether you are living according to who you are in Christ, as a true believer of Jesus, while mindful that He's the Lord of your life.
After you have done this, ask God for courage, boldness, and open doors to also bring others to Jesus. The prayers of the early disciples reveal their priorities to us. Even when they were being persecuted because of their evangelism, they prayed to God for courage, boldness, and more open doors to keep on preaching the gospel. They didn't pray for protection or safe passage. They prayed to be able to keep evangelizing! They prayed this way because they knew the joy of following Jesus in the work of evangelism. God was happy to answer their prayer for courage, boldness, and open doors. Just think of Peter, for example, who denied Jesus, and days later had the power, courage, and boldness to boldly proclaim to thousands of people that Jesus is Lord!
II) Choose Your Friends Carefully
What do I mean by this? Simply put, be mindful of the company you keep. If you're around people that are claiming to be believers, but they have no interest in ever engaging lost people, they drink a little more than they should, or they dabble in things they shouldn't dabble in, and they don't really have Christ at the center of their life... well, that's the kind of friend you can lovingly warn and try to exhort, but if they have no interest in moving closer to Christ, forget them and move on. You don't have time for that.
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” - 1 Cor. 15:33
Find friends who love Jesus, find friends who live for Him, and keep good company. Courage, boldness, faithfulness, these kinds of things are contagious. When you're around godly people, people who love the Lord and live for Him, your faith grows stronger as a result and you live a more God-glorifying life as well. Choose your friends carefully.
III) Join a PMC short-term Cohort.
Self-promotion here, but it needs to be said because PMc has avenues of involvement. One of them is to join a short-term cohort. I was blessed, because back in 2007 when I first became a missionary they sent me all over the place. They broke me in hard and they broke me in quick, and I thank God for it all the time. I'm so thankful for the ministry that taught me and equipped me and trained me and how they nearly exasperated me, in a sense, and sent me out all over the place until I had nothing left at all. It was through this that I learned to understand what it means to operate on grace alone. It transformed my life.
I helped numerous little churches throughout many parts of Italy to evangelize. We would go from town to town and from place to place. I remember Daniele's dad and how we'd be evangelizing in his area down near Sorrento. At times he just stopped the cars and blocked traffic a little bit to have us do a mime in the middle of nowhere and gather people in front of the coffee bar. We'd evangelize everybody then we'd get back in the car and drive on somewhere else. It was fantastic stuff! It was like we were still living in the book of Acts. It was truly a marvelous time evangelizing together as a group that I'll never forget.
I've heard testimonies from others as well that participated with teams that we led and took to different places here in Italy. I've heard grown people that have lived over 50 years of their life say, "You know what? These 10 days, these two weeks, honestly, I've never felt more alive in all my life. This is why I'm still here. What have I been doing with my life all these years? Why have I never done this sooner? Why have I never been involved?"
I know this feeling and I know how great it is. I've heard the testimonies. I've seen lives transformed. Consider joining a PMc short-term cohort next summer. In 2023, you and a group of others can come to do a 10-day trip and work with us to reach the lost. You can come and do different kinds of evangelism with us in a place that desperately needs it.
IV) Read THIS PMc Blog Post - Do Yourself a Favor and Learn Evangelism
In this post, we share some book recommendations regarding evangelism. These are books that can help you to understand evangelism and become more confident in your role. Get a copy of these and be built up.
V) Learn Presuppositional Apologetics
One thing that has transformed my life and has been such a confidence booster when it comes to evangelism is understanding the presuppositional apologetic. In short, basically, nobody can know that they know anything at all with certainty, without divine revelation (God's Word); without God, the only One who knows all things. It's such a powerful and great apologetic to understand and apply in evangelism. It's another whole topic, but maybe that'll be a good webinar in the future. Learn this and you will not regret the time you invest in knowing it well.
VI) Forget not that Satan Wants you Doing Anything but Evangelism
Satan will help you prosper, do well, and be busy as long as you don't evangelize. Satan is happy and okay if you just go to Bible study and keep learning a bunch of information to store up in your mind but never apply by actually going to the lost. He'll help you with that. He'll clap his hands. He's supportive of you doing this kind of Bible study. Satan is happy with you doing pretty much anything as long as you don't evangelize. Just remember that.
VII) Know that Jesus is With You in a Special Way When You Obey and Evangelize
Jesus really is with you in a special way. Just like He was with Stephen when He stood for while he was being stoned to death. The Lord wants you to know that He really is with you in a special way when you intentionally evangelize the lost. He enables you, comforts you, empowers you, and gives you that joy of His as well as you do it. There is truly something special about the presence of the Lord with us in this work of engaging lost souls with and for Jesus.
VIII) A little bonus for parents - Disciple and Catechize Your Kids
Don't just send your kids off to public school while assuming Sunday school will teach them all they need about God to live faithfully unto the Lord in this life. Somebody famous, I think it was Voddie Baucham said,
"Don't expect to send your kids off to Rome and have them not come back being Romans in operation for Caesar."
Understand that they're being taught things and indoctrinated - education is not neutral. Christian education is crucial. It really does make a big, big difference. I'm currently studying this because I'm now a parent and we are homeschooling. When it comes to discipling our kids, we must be mindful that we have a limited amount of time with them. To disciple and train them well is one of our highest callings in this life.
One thing you can do to evangelize and disciple your kids is to get THIS kid's catechism - My First Book of Questions and Answers by Karen Mackenzie. It's a phenomenal catechism book for younger kids. Every Sunday morning at our worship gathering we have the kids get together and we do two or three questions and answers. It's exciting! A few nights each week I go through some of these with Cornelius. Once a week or so I go through all of them that we learned so far. He actually remembers them. God's word and Biblical truths are going into his heart and mind and shaping him. He can remember these things. It's so important and so good! Don't overlook the power of doing catechisms.
The Ology: Ancient Truths Ever New - this is basically a systematic theology text for kids and it's beautifully made. You can go through all the key doctrines of the Christian faith for years and years. Great pictures, great verses, and so many ways to utilize this. Such a blessing! Get your hands on that if you're a parent as well and make that a part of your family devotions.
Lastly, I would encourage you to pick up The Biggest Bible Storybook by Kevin DeYoung. It's phenomenal. I just got this one recently. It's truly beautiful and so well done. It's well put together and very, very helpful and sound. You won't go wrong incorporating this into your family devotions as well.
A very small percentage of the church in the US is actively involved in evangelizing the lost. Your participation in the PMc ministry is one way of tangibly playing a role in the Lord's work in our world to seek and save. It's my prayer, however, that by following our ministry (and through reading this post) you will be moved by God the Holy Spirit to get or keep active in bringing the Gospel to those in your area and bringing souls to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
If any of these practical tips have been helpful for you, leave us a comment and let us know which ones and why. Do you have any tips of your own? Leave us a comment and share with the PMc community!
Written by Jesse Schreck
Adapted from the PMc Webinar - Evangelism | Simple, Biblical, Fruitful