Spiritual Disciplines 04 Evangelism
A talk presented at the 2014 Augustine Presbytery Family Camp - these talks emphasize growth in spiritual discipline.
Spiritual Disciplines - Evangelism
Matthew 4:19 - And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Romans 1:16 - For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
1) Defining Evangelism - a) Defining the key word: euangelizo, means “to communicate good news concerning something” (Louw-Nida), “declare, bring (declare, show) glad (good) tidings, preach (the gospel)” (Greek Keys). “In secular Greek, angelos was “messenger” (especially of the gods) and angelia “message.” E.g., “The birthday of the god (Augustus)” was “good news” (Spicq). b) Defining the Christian concept: Evangelism is the announcement, proclamation, and expression of the good news of Jesus Christ. It is verbally expressing our faith with unbelievers as the audience. It is “taking the initiative to share Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God” (Bill Bright).
2) Doing Evangelism - One of the most instructive passages on how to “do evangelism” is found at the end of Colossians: “Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person” (Col. 4:5-6). If we are to be obedient in evangelism, we must:
Cultivate opportunities with outsiders (Col. 4:5ff). This means in ordinary life, we take advantage of our relationships. We must create opportunities to relate outsiders.
Cultivate gracious speech with those outside. Our speech must be “seasoned with salt.” We need wisdom and wit.
Cultivate personal relationships. We must address people as individuals. Our response to “anyone who asks” for “the reason of the hope within us” (1 Peter 3:15) is to be tailored to “each” person and context (Col. 4:6).
Use your interests and every occasion as opportunities to meet unbelievers.
Listen well to those outside.
Cultivate the capacity to ask good questions.
Make clear that your life and gifts are because of Jesus.
Become a Disciple Maker.
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as receive a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more