What is Evangelism?
Humans are naturally sharing creatures. When we fall in love with a new technology, life hack, podcast, or album, our first reaction is to tell our friends or share it on social media. This is the essence of evangelism.
Evangelism is something that happens naturally when we are excited about the latest “thing” and want to share it.
Unfortunately, when it comes to the Church, in many ways, evangelism has gone astray. We as Christ-followers have a really bad habit of turning the good news of the Gospel into some utterly bad news. This was my experience growing up in the Church.
My Experience with Evangelism
Growing up, the portrait of God that was painted for me was that of an angry judge. God was more like Santa Clause than anything else. If I was “nice,” God blessed me. If I was “naughty,” punishment and curses would ensue.
The only reason I could imagine anyone would “commit” their life to God is out of fear that, if they didn’t, God would smite them.
I was terrified of God. I didn’t want to go to Hell, so instead, I tried really hard to do all the “right” things. This is called “religion,” and it’s definitely not God’s desire for us.
Good News vs. Bad New
I once heard someone say that you can’t share the good news (the Gospel) until Jesus becomes good news to you.
The reality of Hell is not good news. It’s true, yes, but it is not the kind of thing that wins over hearts and souls. Jesus rarely talked about Hell during His time on earth. Instead, when He entered a town, His arrival was absolutely good news.
“Jesus is here!” the townspeople would shout. “Bring the blind, the mute, the lame, and the dead! Jesus is here to heal us and make our lives better!”
What is the Good News?
One of the reasons Jesus came to earth was to reveal to us the true character of God. And this is His character–love! Not a God who came to condemn but a God who came to love and to save. And that my friend, is very good news.
When we experience God as good news in our lives, we are transformed, and when we are transformed, people notice.
Now, I’m not saying that we should never have intentional conversations about our faith. We absolutely should. But we need to remember that evangelism is not about pointing out sins. Most people already know their sins. Evangelism is revealing that there is a God who loves you despite your sins. He wants to heal you. He wants to make your life better!
We can’t share what we don’t have. If we don’t experience God as good news, we won’t be able to convey to others why they should want to follow Jesus.
How to Evangelize
The absolute best way to evangelize is to live a life worth noticing. Be the kind of person that, when you show up to a party, people are excited to see you. Be someone that people want to talk to. Be the kind of person that when others leave a conversation with you, they feel better. Be like Jesus. Be good news to others, and they will want to know the source of your good news.
How do you experience Jesus as good news? How does that spill over into your life and the lives of others? If you don’t experience Jesus as good news, how might you begin to change that?