What is evangelism? In the dictionary it is defined as “the spreading of the Christian gospel by public preaching or personal witness.”
But what do we really think it is? I think traditionally we associate it with publicly professing Jesus Christ as Lord and encouraging others to accept Him as their Lord and Savior. But lets be real, this is intimidating. This is scary. And this is something most of us won’t do. We can come up with many reasons, but ultimately many of us are not confident. Most of us wonder what others will think.
Now lets go back to to the second part of the definition “personal witness”. What does this mean? I was reading a book and heard it said a little bit differently.
“Evangelism is meeting a felt need”
I know I wonder when, why, how God speaks to us. I think he does it through presentation of needs. Through our needs, through others needs, through our heart. If we are meeting felt needs we are being witnesses, acting on the nudging of God. Sure at some point we have to publicly profess. But public profession is much easier if your reputation is already there. Profession is much easier if you’ve made a difference in their life.
As Christians, we so often ignore those nudges. Why? I think it still goes back to a public stand. We’re afraid if we listen to the nudge, God might ask something of us. Or even something else. But this is the Christian life. I know I’ve had to internally battle with my reasons for ignoring God’s nudge, and I cannot identify yours. I’d challenge each of you, identify those reasons inside you. Identify, then go to God. Helping others is easy if you think about it. But often we just don’t do it, because we’re scared what it will lead to. Lets quit living in fear.
for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
2 Timothy 1:7 ESV