Evangelism was a strange concept to me until a couple of years ago. Being a millennial, I grew up in a world where evangelism was stamped with disapproval and equated with flimsy tracts. “They will know us by our love,” was what ran through my mind often, and while absolutely and 100% true, it is not the full picture.
What I didn’t realize was that Jesus was the great Evangelist. Jesus traveled from dusty towns to wide open lakes, and everywhere He went, He preached the good news of the kingdom. Yes, He was known for His acts of love and mercy. But He was ALSO known for the way He spoke of His role of Savior of the world.
I find that it is easy to explain away why evangelism isn’t needed, which is convenient, because evangelism can be SUPER awkward. We don’t want to make people feel uncomfortable, we don’t want to be pushy, and we don’t want to come across as “unloving or unaccepting.” But, if we don’t openly speak the name of Jesus, how do people know who we are, and why we do what we do?
A question that often churns in my mind is what the difference is between a “nice” person and a Christian. Both tend to be compassionate, generous, loving, and giving. Both groups care deeply about their environment and the community that surrounds them. Both types of people tend to be genuinely joyful. While I’m not here to theologically pick apart what it means to be a follower of Christ, I have noticed that the spoken name of Jesus is powerful and almighty. Sometimes it makes people cringe. But it always holds the power to save.
Contrary to popular belief, being loving AND being an evangelist go hand in hand. One cannot happen without the other, and both take a whole lot of intentionality and living with eyes wide open.
Giving thanks before breaking bread with others.
Intentionally trying to walk with depth and empathy in relationships.
Asking people to pray for them or with them!
Being vulnerable with your own life to allow others to ask questions of how and why you are different.
Keeping the door of your home and heart wide open for others to be a part of your life, so that in the end, you can share about your relationship with Christ.
I’ll let you in on a secret that I’ve realized in my own wonderings and exploration of what love evangelism looks like: there is not a formula or secret to evangelism, beyond paying attention to the beckoning of the Spirit, and choosing to fearlessly obey (regardless of the outcome). We are not on this earth to “save souls” but rather to introduce others to the treasure that we have found hidden in the middle of the field (Matthew 13:44-46). We are not responsible for the reaction, only for speaking great truth in great love, which is this:
Jesus has eliminated death, forgiven our heavy debt, and made a way to be connected to the only One who truly fills the holes in our little beating hearts.
If Jesus is the greatest love of our lives, how could we not brag on Him?
If we hold the keys to eternity, how could we not share them?
The spoken name of Jesus is powerful and almighty, and it always holds the power to save.