Does Evangelism Make You Cringe?

What we’re trying to do with our Love Joburg Equipping course is shift the way you feel and what you perceive when you hear the word ‘evangelism’. This is the most used word to describe what we want to present as a lifestyle of sharing your life of faith with others. But does the word ‘evangelism’ make you cringe? Does it make you worry? Does it remind you of something you don’t like? What picture appears in your mind when you think of evangelism?

The first thing to do is cover what evangelism isn’t. Here is a brief list to make you think:

  • Evangelism is not a sales pitch.

  • Evangelism is not apologetics (clever arguments about God). Apologetics has its place, but it’s not how most of us are wired.

  • Evangelism is not trying to make people into ‘church people’.

  • Evangelism is not convincing people that your church is ‘cooler’ or ‘nicer’ or ‘not like “those” other churches’ etc.

  • Evangelism is not the phrase, “Preach the Gospel, and if necessary use words.” It is both words and action.

  • Evangelism is not filling churches. Full churches are a result of people coming to Christ, but full churches are not the goal per se. The goal is churches that are full of people who are going people.

  • Evangelism is not a cool event or a ‘crusade’. These might help, but they are not how we define evangelism.

  • Evangelism is not handing out tracts at street corners. There’s nothing wrong with handing out tracts, only that it isn’t how evangelism is defined.

  • Evangelism is not shouting out in the streets that people are going to hell. This might be necessary in some cases, but it’s not how we define evangelism.

  • Evangelism is not knocking on doors or going to hospitals. These could form part of it, but it’s not how we define evangelism.

  • Evangelism is not a notch for your spiritual belt – God is not measuring how many people you are evangelising to, and is not more pleased with you if you evangelise more than someone else. Sharing your faith does make God happy, but it does not make him more or less pleased with you.

By now you would have noticed a trend. Evangelism is how you live your life. You have faith in Jesus and you are simply sharing that faith with others because that faith defines your life.

However, sometimes the idea that evangelism is a lifestyle can be too vague, leading us to never know how to practically share our faith. Which is why we have courses like Love Joburg to help us. Sharing our faith is a culture that we develop in our churches and in our lives over time – and it’s our prayer that we will learn and grow into this more and more.

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