Greetings! The next date for Evangelism Encounter is December 3rd!
What is Evangelism Encounter?
Evangelism Encounter is simply a time we will be setting aside to go into our communities to tell people about Jesus. Lord willing, we will encounter neighbors as we walk down the road or sidewalk. When we meet them, we will use this encounter as an opportunity for evangelism, which is giving a testimony of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and calling unbelievers to be disciples by repenting of their sins and having faith in Christ.
Why should we do evangelism?
We are commanded to. The Great Commission has called us to make disciples of all nations. This includes our immediate neighbors. The only way someone can become a disciple of Christ is if they hear the gospel proclaimed and respond to it in repentance and faith in Christ.
As you go, you may come across someone you know well, or you may come upon a complete stranger. You will not necessarily know what they believe in, whether they go to church or not, or how they will respond to the gospel, but you do know that salvation is only made available through Christ.
“The one who believes in the Son has eternal life, but the one who refuses to believe in the Son will not see life; instead, the wrath of God remains on him.” – John 3:36
Therefore, we must share the Gospel if someone is to be rescued from darkness and into light.
How should I present the gospel?
There are many different ways to present the gospel. You may have been taught different methods in the past. There are strengths and weaknesses to every method, depending on the setting, time frame, hearer, and other elements. I do not think there is a perfect way to present the gospel. With that said, let me share with you one method that you might use.
You can present the gospel using four topics: God, Man, Christ, Response.
God. God created everything to honor, exalt, and worship him.
Man. Man has rejected God and has sought to worship creation instead of the creator. Because of man’s actions, God has condemned man to an eternal death.
Jesus. In his love, God provided a means of escape from death. This is only through God’s Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus has conquered sin and death through the cross, making forgiveness of sin possible through repentance and faith in Christ.
Response. To be forgiven, every person must repent of their sins, have faith in Christ, and live their lives honoring, exalting, and worshiping God.
Again, there are other methods for sharing the gospel. The important part of sharing the gospel is making sure the hearer sees that he or she is a sinner in need of salvation through Christ.
When I meet someone, how do I get to the gospel?
I am not a fan on sneaky evangelism. In this situation, we are specifically walking in our neighborhoods to share the gospel. Therefore, I would recommend you going straight to the gospel. I would say something like this:
“Hello, I am walking around telling people about Jesus. Can I have a few moments of your time to tell you about him?”
Hopefully the person you meet will permit you to share the gospel. Maybe not. If they say no, feel free to try to find out why. They may be too busy, but if you press, you can usually grab them long enough to simply share the gospel. There may be other reasons for their refusal. Try to be as faithful as possible to share the gospel because it is their only hope for eternity.
What if I am too scared to evangelize?
This is where we typically find resistance to sharing the gospel. We do not really need to know why or how to share the gospel, because as a Christian we should already have those answers handy. Our reluctance comes from fear, specifically fearing men instead of God. Here are some fear factors:
1. Fear of the unknown – You will never “know enough” to be confident in evangelizing. The truth is, our only hope in evangelism is in God. He is the one who changes hearts. (Romans 1:16)
2. Fear for safety – Evangelism is dangerous; look at what happened to Christ. Apply the gospel! Whoever loses his life will gain it, and whoever gains his life will lose it. (Luke 9:24)
3. Fear of rejection – You will lose friendships and family because of Christ. But apply the gospel here! But whoever denies me before men will I deny before my father in heaven. (Matt 10:33)
4. Lack of fear of God – If we do not have a fear of God, then we are not going to desire to evangelize the lost. We fear God because he can destroy both the body and soul. We are but dust in the wind, at complete mercy to God and in awe of who he is.
To overcome any and all fear of man, trust in God’s word and his Spirit. We must have faith in God’s word and his Spirit if we are going to be faithful evangelists. Simply share the gospel. After you share the gospel, you are not responsible for how the person responds. You are not called to convince or reason someone to become a Christian. You can have the the right answer to every question in the world, but that will not be enough to cause someone to become a Christian. Salvation comes from gospel.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16
The best you can do is plant a seed. You can never force it to sprout. This should be encouraging news! God does not pressure us to save people. He is the one who does that. He has simply commanded us to communicate his word to unbelievers.
If you find yourself in fear to share the gospel, then repent of your sin (we are to fear God, not man) and trust that God has equipped you with everything you need to be obedient to his commands. Know that this is a truth. He has given you his word and his Spirit.
When do we begin?
We will begin at 9am. Walk in your neighborhood or find a safe area nearby to walk around if you do not live in a neighborhood. As you encounter people, love them and share the gospel. Pray that God would give you opportunities to evangelize. Pray that God would use you to communicate his word to lost people. Pray for boldness. Pray that hearts would be changed and renewed.
Try to keep walking and talking until about 10am. We will meet at the church at 10:30am to debrief, with lunch to follow.
Be bold! Don’t trust in yourself! Trust in the gospel and the Holy Spirit.
One final encouragement. The Youth Leadership Team and I have been reading through a book called The Vine Project. The premise of this book is to prioritize disciplemaking. Take a look the following diagram shown in the book.
You can see on this diagram two groups of people surrounding the cross. In discipleship, our goal is to lead people towards the right. For those currently in the domain of darkness, we want them to move towards the cross. This happen through us faithfully sharing the gospel and the Holy Spirit transforming their hearts. For those in the Kingdom of the Son, we continue to teach Biblical truths and call for repentance, with them moving towards our ultimate redemption with Christ in Heaven.
For both groups, our mission is to simply lead the individual one step at a time to the right. In the domain of darkness, those furthest to the left can take a step towards the cross when we share the gospel. Perhaps they will join the Kingdom of the Son, but that is not our responsibility. We are simply to lead them to the cross, and let the Holy Spirit carry them through it.