It’s possible that every time somebody mentions personal evangelism, you feel a mixture of guilt and fear. You know that evangelizing is an essential part of obeying the Great Commission, but evangelism often feels unnatural and awkward. It’s like becoming one of those undesired sales representatives that call people to offer what they aren’t asking for. I wonder how they even got my phone number.
Is that how the Bible describes personal evangelism? Not at all. The gospel is good news, not a trinket! Evangelizing doesn’t have to be awkward or frightening. Look at Jesus. His encounters with unbelievers look like regular and rather engaging conversations. He doesn’t seem strange, nervous, or worried. True followers of Jesus came to him mostly through relationships, either with him or his disciples.
Start with Prayer
Evangelizing is a spiritual task, and we must rely completely on the Holy Spirit, both to give us the boldness we need and to open the hearts of those we share the gospel with. Make a daily habit of praying for opportunities to testify about Jesus and pray as you engage in spiritual conversations. (Ephesians 6:18–20)
Be on the Lookout
The Triune God is the greatest evangelist of all, and he is the one looking for his sheep. Your job is to get in tune with him. As Henry Blackaby continually argues, God is always working in our midst; find what he is doing and join him. So, notice people around you, open your eyes, don’t get distracted by your phone, and ask God to let you see the need for Jesus in the people surrounding you (John 10:16; 5:17).
Develop Authentic Relationships with Unbelievers
Approaching someone you don’t know may be daunting, but talking to a friend is delightful. As you engage with unbelievers, be willing to listen well, ask good questions, show them genuine interest, and serve them. Invite them into your life and, as they open themselves, get into theirs. You will discover how easy it is to bring the gospel into your conversations as you develop meaningful relationships.
Partner with a Christian Friend in Your Church
Do you know what is better than one passionate Christian sharing his faith? Two passionate Christians sharing their faith. Find someone from your local church who can join you as you invite unbelievers to share a coffee or a meal with you. It not only enriches the conversations and brings a fresh perspective but also becomes an avenue for discipleship and modeling. That’s how you create a culture of evangelism in your church.
Find someone from your local church who can join you as you invite unbelievers to share a coffee or a meal with you.
Share Your Story and God’s Story
It’s crucial that you know how to effectively share your own testimony of salvation. Write it down, have a leader in your church look at it, and memorize it the best you can. As you listen to your friend’s story, find ways to connect it with your own story. Be transparent, vulnerable, and genuine. Focus your story on how Jesus brought you from darkness to light. Then, connect it with the story of God, which is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Make the gospel explicit and clear, and let God’s Word and God’s Spirit do the rest.
Remember Your Role in Evangelism
You are an ambassador for Christ. Your role is to proclaim the gospel in order to persuade, but only Jesus can save. People might turn you down and that’s ok; they turned Jesus down as well. Keep the relationships going because the seed of the Word might produce its fruit later.
Personal evangelism doesn’t have to be that uncomfortable moment you must go through to quiet your conscience. By practicing these principles, you can make it a joyful and fruitful lifestyle.