Evangelism as a Way of Life

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect… - 1 Peter 3:15

I've been asked to write some words about, “Evangelism as a way of life.” As I've thought about this, I've realised that sometimes I'm proactive about sharing my faith and sometimes I'm reactive. There are times when I'm looking out for opportunities to engage people in spiritual conversation, and there are times when I will only do so if the person I'm talking to takes the initiative. The truth is that much of the time I'm in reactive, or even inactive, mode. Why is that? If I am to share my faith as a way of life, surely I must be the one who makes the first move.

I've come on a long journey. For a large part of my Christian life I dodged every opportunity that God gave me to get into spiritual conversations. The reasons (excuses?) will be familiar to you: lack of confidence, lack of knowledge and lack of experience. Thankfully, some years ago, my friend John took me under his wing and trained me – just as Jesus trained his disciples to share their faith. I now realise that the main reason I hadn’t been sharing my faith was simply down to this lack of training. I wasn’t ready, so I didn’t start. I didn’t know how. I never saw my leaders sharing their faith or getting into conversations and pointing people to Christ. I’d heard them preach brilliant sermons, passionately persuading us to share the Good News of Jesus; but because I wasn't doing it, for me that just heaped up guilt and fear.

The way my friend John prepared me though, was different. Not only was he proactive in sharing his faith but he also dragged me along so I could see him doing it! After a while he handed me the baton. He encouraged me to have a go and then took the time to give me helpful feedback and encouragement. Thanks to John proactively mentoring me, sharing my faith with someone no longer held the same fear. I had become confident in being reactive to the spiritual interest of others.

 

But what about today? I'm now more confident, but am I more proactive? Am I responding to every opportunity which God gives me? All around us, every day, the Holy Spirit is drawing people to Jesus, but am I really noticing what he is doing? If I'm not prayerful, if I'm not heartbroken for those who don’t yet know the Father, then how quickly opportunities will pass me by. Being truly proactive in sharing our faith is the overflow of an intimate life with the Lord, the overflow of a loving and thankful heart.

 

Prayer:

Lord, I'm so thankful for the life-changing work you have done in me. Give me ears to hear and eyes to see what you are doing in the lives of those around me. Let me be your partner in pointing people to Jesus. Please break my heart for the lost. Help me to be prepared and proactive every day. Let me speak good news and let me be good news to those around me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Action:

If you feel unprepared, get some training in how to share your faith (e.g. https://www.facebook.com/events/353082935108999/). It will enable you to become more confident, so that your words can more helpfully explain your actions.

Don’t try to do this on your own! Find someone else who feels the same way and work together. Talk and pray it though with them. Be honest and transparent with each other. Then start to put it into practice with them. Always ask for, and give, helpful feedback.

 

Until recently, Tim Moyler was on the staff team of SWYM.  For the last 18 years, he has worked with Agapé UK, creators of the Living and Telling course. Tim is married to Angie, a graphic designer and teacher, and they have three sons, all living and working in London.