Evangelism Session 2
There are three subjects a preacher can speak on to really turn the guilt screws: Praying, Giving and Evangelism
In the year 2000 Jehovah’s Witnesses spent 181 million hours witnessing door to door. (It's interesting that they compile such detailed statistics. And that they publish them!) A Jehovah’s Witness is expected to do 5 hours door to door work a week.
It’s very possible to mobilize incredible ‘evangelistic endeavours’ out of fear, pride, pressure and guilt.
A good question for every evangelist: Am I witnessing to bring this person to God or to bring me to God?
But evangelism doesn't bring me to God. It's Christ who brings the world to God. And I join in!
Definition 3: Evangelism is sharing together in Christ’s mission to the world
In terms of bringing people to God
He Did - Christ did bring people to God through His cross.
We Are - We are a body of people bringing others to God.
I Can - I can play my part in Christ's mission.
1) He did. 1 Peter 3:18
THE great missionary task has been completed.
My evangelism does not bring me to God. And my failures don't keep me away.
When I have failed to speak up or been a terrible witness among my friends - that was sin. But Christ died for sins...
Some give the impression that Jesus died for every sin except evangelistic failure. But no, these failures are unrighteous. But Christ clothed Himself in that unrighteousness and gives you His spotless robe. You are rejoiced over before the Father, even with all your failures.
So no more fear, no more pride, no more pressure, no more guilt. You have been brought to God.
And now I join in not because I have to, but because I get to. In fact... I am!
2) We are. 1 Peter 2:9; 4:10-11
We scattered aliens and strangers are - together - a priesthood.
Priests are go-betweens standing between God and the people.
We declare His praises in the world (v9) and the pagans are brought to God (v12)
Notice: We ARE this priesthood. Peter doesn’t say ‘Work hard, try and become priestly.’ He says you are already priestly.
You entered the priesthood the day you trusted Jesus.
To be a Christian is to be an integral part of an evangelistic organisation!
Notice: We are TOGETHER this priesthood.
John 13:34-35 - our life together testifies to the world. How can we witness together?
What if two or three or four of us joined the same gym/club/adult education course?
What if we were committed, regular, intentional, up front about our faith?
Notice: We won't all have the same job within this evangelistic body - 1 Peter 4:10-11.
Some are good 'speakers', some are good 'servers' (a hospitality kind of word).
When they work together it's a potent combination - evangelism through hospitality - speakers and servers together.
What are your gifts? How can we use them together in a priestly (ie evangelistic)way?
3) I Can. 1 Peter 3:15
Be prepared. The scout’s motto! Be prepared with words.
Like the engaged woman, ready to show off the diamond. Like film lover who’s just seen their new favourite film. Like the proud owner of a new sports car or a new outfit 70% off. Like the football supporter of the cup-winning team. Like the new grand-parents. We are always ready to talk about the things that are important to us aren’t we?
This is why setting apart Christ as Lord is so important. That Christ would be more exciting than the diamond, the film, the car, etc, etc. If the heart is right the words will come - failingly and falteringly, but they will come.
Gentleness and respect – evangelism is one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.
Notice: Who initiates this evangelistic conversation? It’s the non-Christian asking “How do you live with such hope?"
It's a "hope that is IN you.” Not in the creeds or in a gospel tract or even in the bible but IN US!
The section begins with good advice on how to attract such interest: 1 Pet 3:8 - sympathy, love, compassion and humility.
Evangelism is not turning trivial conversations into trite gospel presentations.
It’s about prizing Christ above everything else, living with distinctive words and actions and joining Him in His mission to the world.
Have you felt guilt attached to your evangelism in the past? What does the gospel say into that situation?
What are your gifts? How can you use them as part of the whole church’s priestly body?
Are there things we can do together in the world? Be specific. (This is not about doing more, but about doing what we do together and with gospel intentionality)
What kind of lives attract the questions of non-Christians? How does this challenge me? Again, be specific.
Are there one or two non-Christians in your life that you can commit to pray for? Don't list 300, think of two or three and pray for them regularly.