I believe that God is sovereign in the work of evangelism – He will redeem his elect through the testimony of the church. Therefore, I do not believe in high-pressure evangelism like altar calls or cold-call evangelism. Rather, I believe in starting with understanding the other person to earn the right to share my faith. Through prayer and careful listening (to both the person and the Holy Spirit), I try to discern when my new friend is receptive to the Gospel. When the time is right, I share the reality of sinful humanity’s need before a holy God. When I see evidence of a conviction of sin, I offer the grace of God in Jesus Christ – how faith in Jesus is the only way to be saved and how true faith is based on Jesus’ work not ours. I also make sure to show people that this isn’t a one-time decision but it is a life-long call to give our whole life to Jesus by following him and submitting to his authority. The beginning of this journey of faith is repentance of sin and a public profession of faith in Christ through baptism.
Evangelism doesn’t end with baptism. The church needs to continually proclaim the good news of Jesus to one another. Evangelism is just part of the larger process of discipleship. A disciple is someone who is learning the teachings and commands of Jesus with the purpose of teaching them to others. Discipleship is complete when the person is trained and released into his or her ministry as part of the overall mission of the church. Making disciples means training people for ministry. True disciples will continue to grow and mature through their whole lives. This growth must always be within the context of the church – the community of faith.
My Personal Approach to Evangelism
- Prayerfully develop a relationship with another person based on understanding them and building their trust in me – sharing life.
- Look for an opportunity to present the gospel in a way that is humble, gentle, direct, and clear.
- Based on the response of the person, continue the relationship and discussion until they either reject the gospel completely or submit to God through faith in Jesus Christ.
- After they see their sin and the need for forgiveness, I lead them to respond to God by praying for mercy.
- After the prayer for mercy, I show them the promises of God about forgiveness based on the work of Jesus.
- Next, I help them to begin the path of life transformation through following Jesus’ teaching and through submitting to the Holy Spirit – the first step being baptism.
- I continue to help the new believer grow in their faith or partner them with someone who will be a better fit to disciple them.
- When they have grown to the point of understanding and explaining the gospel, I begin to train them for ministry and I help them find their role in the mission of the church.