NEW ORLEANS (BP) — There is one truth in evangelism about which all can agree: Most of those who do not know Christ are not in any church on Sunday mornings.
This being true, much of the work of evangelism must take place outside church walls. The proclamation of the Gospel from the pulpits of the land is necessary each week in the church, but just as necessary is the sharing of the Gospel by believers with the lost wherever they encounter them. We must go to those who do not come!
Personal evangelism is not a task God assigns to “trained professionals.” It is not a task rooted in a special skill set or a certain type of personality or particular gifts. Personal evangelism happens when Jesus splashes out of those who follow Him.
Personal evangelism is introducing Jesus into conversations and relationships whenever possible and appropriate. Personal evangelism is seeking out those in your community who are ready to talk about spiritual concerns. Conversions and baptisms are the fruit of people in the pew sowing the seed of the Gospel in the lives of those who are outside our worship services.
This relates to a second truth I have learned through the years. Most believers, including pastors and other ministers, are nervous about starting spiritual conversations with lost people. Preaching to people is easier than talking with people. After teaching personal evangelism for 30 years in classrooms and churches, I have learned that apprehension is far more common than excitement when the subject is sharing your faith.
First, it all starts with your walk. Sharing your faith is an outgrowth of following Jesus.
Making each day of life a walk with Him launches personal evangelism. Consider Matthew 4:19: “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.” This verse is not a command to witness. It is a command to follow. When you follow after Him, He promises to do what is necessary to make you a fisher of men, a witness. In other words: When Jesus is on your mind, He will find a way out of your mouth.
Personal evangelism is not something you do for Jesus. It is something He does through you. Live with Jesus, live like Jesus, live for Jesus and you will see Jesus express Himself through you.
Imagine your life today as a prayer without an “amen.” Stay engaged with the Lord by keeping the conversation with Him going. Keep Jesus on your mind and watch Him find a way out of your mouth. If you are walking with Him, you will find yourself talking about Him.