JOEY COTTLE: Rethinking evangelism

I want to quantify the word “evangelism.”

I think we misunderstand this word. Christians tend to think evangelism is somehow disconnected from normal life. We treat evangelism like it’s a tool we can pull out of our pocket to win souls. It’s a method, a program, a tract, a speech. All too often, we brow-beat people with it.

Evangelism is none of those things. Evangelism is a way of life.

Yes, you can point to the five-fold ministry given us in Ephesians 4:11 and say that evangelism is a specific task given to specific people in the church. You could even point out how the apostles made specific evangelistic efforts in the various cities they visited, preaching in temples, debating in the synagogues and appealing to marketplaces.

However, you cannot deny that Christ gave the great commission to every single one of us, not just the apostles and Billy Graham. Those sorts of ministries are just a part of God’s work here. Evangelism is for all of us.

So what does that mean? Be the salt of the earth. Live out Christ in front of your friends, your co-workers and your family. Don’t be afraid to talk about Christ, but don’t force Him on people. If we cover ourselves in the grace of Christ, that grace will compel others to salvation.

The apostle James said, “…show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”

Evangelism isn’t simply speaking out about our faith; evangelism lives.

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