Should Every Christian Evangelize?
Have you ever been around someone who is gifted in evangelism?
Brock Anderson describes a person who is gifted in evangelism as one who is usually given 1) an abnormal ability in explaining the gospel, 2) Abnormal opportunities to share the gospel, and 3) an abnormal number of responses to the gospel. We can all think of heavy hitters throughout history who fit this profile: Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, and Billy Graham, just to name a few. There are many people of much less fame and notoriety who have displayed evangelistic gifting in their life as well.
If you’ve ever been around someone like this, you know exactly what Brock is referring to. Opportunities to share their faith seem to find them everywhere they go. Whenever they explain Scripture, the Gospel is made clear to the unbeliever. And it seems like whenever they share, more often than not, people place their trust in Christ.
Does this mean God has delegated evangelism to those He gifts in this area? Let’s look closely at what the Bible says.
1. Everyone is called.
If we don’t see those “abnormalities” listed above in our own lives, we can be tempted to remove ourselves from the responsibility of sharing our faith. But Scripture doesn’t take us in that direction. The Bible paints the picture of evangelism as a group project. It’s not intended for some to participate while others sit out.
See what Jesus said in Matthew 28:18-20:
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Jesus directs His followers to make disciples of all nations. This message is repeated throughout Paul’s letters in the New Testament where he instructs believers to make disciples (2 Timothy 2:2; Colossians 1:28-29). Neither Jesus nor Paul says that only certain people are to make disciples. Instead, they depict making disciples as a task for the whole Church, not a select few. And evangelism is a crucial first step to making disciples.
In short, the lack of gifting doesn’t mean a lack of calling. But it’s also important to know that the lack of gifting doesn’t mean a lack of empowerment.
2. God enables all believers.
God isn’t calling us to do something He isn’t helping us with.
If you don’t feel as though you have been gifted in evangelism, it’s helpful to remember Who we do have instead of what we do not have. All Christians are given the gift of the Holy Spirit, even those who are not gifted in evangelism.
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. – Ephesians 1:13-14
And remember, God does all the heavy lifting in evangelism! As Larry Moyer, Founder of EvanTell often says, “Our job is contact, and God’s job is conversion.”
3. Utilize your design.
God has designed each person differently. Although there might be shared experiences or passions, no one has your exact life story. It’s no coincidence that God sends every person to the Church but also has gifted them differently. As non-believers see diversity in the church, the beauty of God’s creation is displayed.
My pastor often reminds us that “Unity is not the same as uniformity.” While all are called to evangelize by God and empowered to evangelize through the Spirit, evangelism looks different for each of us. And that’s a good thing.
Seek to leverage the way God has created you for the sake of evangelism. Do you speak multiple languages? Where do you like to spend your spare time?
Even if you feel like others are more gifted, you are equipped and empowered to evangelize because the Holy Spirit dwells inside of you. So whenever you feel the Holy Spirit inviting you to share with someone, boldly step out in confidence knowing that God is calling you, equipping you, and working through you.
PO Box 703929
Dallas, TX 75370-3929