Evangelism is an Action

Eric KoenigEric Koenig is a third year MDiv student at Union Presbyterian Seminary.

Evangelism is a practice of the Christian Church.  Coming from the Greek word εὐαγγέλιον, meaning good news, or gospel.  When in Greek it functions as a noun; a thing.  It is THE good news or THE Gospel truth.  However when we speak of evangelism there is a much larger verbal quality to the word.  Evangelism isn’t just an idea.  One possible definition of The Gospel is the life, death, resurrection, ongoing activity and teachings of Jesus Christ.  But knowledge itself is not evangelism.  Evangelism is an action.

The task of evangelism is the spreading of the good news; the gospel of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.  Jesus Christ called the disciples to spread the good news, and so spreading the good news, spreading the gospel is the active verb of evangelism.

How one evangelizes is a different question.  Is a person simply to repeat the stories found in the biblical gospel narratives?  Or is the act of evangelism making disciples and baptizing as we are told in Matthew 28:19?  Is someone supposed to live their life as an example of Christ?

Evangelism can be seen as a radical hospitality; or a desire to share Christ’s love with all of creation.  Living in a way that demonstrates the love of Jesus Christ towards all people.  Although being a loving person may play a role in evangelism it is the deeper reasoning and aim that move from simple loving to evangelism.  Evangelism is communicating the good news of Jesus Christ, this is done both by action but also through teaching.  Sharing the story of a Palestinian Jew, who ate with widows, lepers, and tax collectors, and loved the world to the point of death.  Living a life in appropriate response to this good news, and sharing that faith with others, in the hopes that they too will come to celebrate the Gospel and share the gifts of Jesus Christ through word and deed is the act of Evangelism.

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