When I think of Evangelism my mind goes straight to Jesus’ last message he gave his disciples before he left them for heaven, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” Matthew 28:16-20. You can take the iniative and look it up if you aren’t familiar with the rest of the verse. Evangelism at its core is a charge from Jesus to “proclaim the good news” as Mark’s Gospel puts it (Mark 16:15.) This good news being the story of Jesus from his teaching to his death and ressurrection. So I guess I am saying that evangelism is the making of disciples.
That’s too basic. Evangelism is the making of disciples, but I think that HOW you ‘make’ those disciples is just as important. What I mean is, Evangelism is not getting people to come to church, to be faithful to the organization, to tithe, to say the right confessions, to volunteer, to serve, or anthing else that a disciple may do. Evangelism is when someone hears Jesus’ story and is so overwhelmed with its life changing truth that they not only believe in Jesus, but want everyone they know to believe in him as well, and, as much as they do. This makes me think of Jesus himself making disciples in John 4. In this part of Jesus’ story he begins a conversation with a Samaritan woman and ends with the woman and many people in her town believing in Jesus as the messiah. John 4:39 says “Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the Woman’s testimony…” This is evangelism.
Jesus’ Story + Me = Testimony
And when I tie my testimony back to the story of Jesus it becomes a beacon for others to see (understand) and believe. But it doesn’t stop there, these new people who have heard my testimony have the opportunity to invite Jesus to stay with them, wich is exactly what the Samaritans did (v40) and verse 42 says: “They said to the woman, “it is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world.”
Evangelism, then, is an opportunity for us to tell others about what Jesus has done in our own lives and then saying: come see for yourself!