If there’s one thing that any missions pastor hates hearing, it’s “I don’t have the gift of evangelism.” Or even worse “I just don’t feel called to evangelism.”. In fact, I’m willing to bet a few of you even cringed a little bit just reading those statements. However, you’d be surprised if you knew how often I hear it from people who profess to be Christians.
I experienced an example of this a few years ago at a meeting I was having with some other pastors from across the city. During the meeting we all introduced ourselves, and spoke a little about our roles at our churches. After I shared about some of the outreach that I had been doing in Kingwood, one of the other pastors said “I sure am glad there’s guys like you out there who can hit the streets and evangelize for those of us who aren’t gifted with it.” I can still remember how sad I felt for this man while sitting in that meeting.
These are extremely dangerous statements, and I would challenge you to think hard before you let them escape your mouth. Did this man not realize he too was called to “be My witnesses…to the end of the earth”? Consider what it is your saying when you make these remarks. If you don’t “feel called” or “gifted” with evangelism, it’s probably an indication that you’re not experiencing Biblical Christianity.
In an attempt to guard our minds and lives better when it comes to our understanding of the role evangelism plays in the Christian walk, this blog will offer you 3 opportunities to evaluate your own apprehension for the calling of evangelism.
1.) The Pastor Can’t Do It For You
A Study by The Barna Group published in 2018 evaluated Christians’ views on evangelism based on research done in 1993 as well as in 2017. The study showed that when asked whether evangelism was the responsibility of the institution of the church, or the responsibility of the believer, Christians in 2017 were 3 times more likely to say that evangelism was the responsibility of the institution as opposed to the individual believer. This is a disturbing figure, because it shows that more spiritual work is being done (or not done) by fewer people in the church. Think about it:If there are roughly 65,000 people living in the Kingwood-area, and 10 of the ministers at Woodridge Baptist Church had a 30 minute conversation with each person about Jesus, it would take roughly 135 Days before each person had heard the Gospel. NOW add in time to sleep, eat, use the bathroom, and maybe see your family every few weeks, and you can see how that time would really add up! However, this isn’t even the most troubling affect of thinking evangelism is the responsibility of pastors alone. This ideology actually diminishes and dismisses the power of the Holy Spirit. We cannot allow ourselves to forget that the Holy Spirit of God abides in all believers, not just in pastors. Your missionary, minister, and pastors’ job is not to evangelize for you. Their job is to help shepherd and send you out to evangelize alongside them.
Therefore, if we all have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, it is this same Holy Spirit that compels us to share the Good News:
“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. And you also will bear witness” (John 15:26-27)
So fight against these thoughts, because you have the Spirit of the Living God abiding in you, giving you power to speak of His own glory and goodness.
2.) Don’t Confuse a Job For a Calling
Now when we’re having this conversation about evangelism, one of the biggest pitfalls that the church runs into is the way we view occupation. For many of us, we take on the view that because each of us is gifted differently, then that must mean that our callings are completely different too. For instance, you might be used to thinking of it this way:“ Joe was called into the world of dentistry, Nancy was called into motherhood, and Pastor Samuel followed his call into full-time ministry.” This outlook is a dangerous lie.
Your job is not your calling. Your job or occupation is a gifted station in life. It is given to you in order that you may use it to pursue the calling that all believers receive. God never called anyone to go to school for 4 years, sit at a desk for 40 years, and then ride around in an RV as you wait out your cardiovascular clock. He did however call people to use education, desks, and RV’s to reach the lost.We can see examples all throughout scripture of how God called people, people from all sorts of professional backgrounds, to follow him:
- Matthew was a tax collector (Matt. 9)
- Paul was a tentmaker (Acts 18)
- Peter, James, & John were fishermen (Mark 1)
Each of these men had occupations that they found themselves to be completely gifted for, however we also see in these passages that they were called by Christ to pursue something greater. This calling doesn’t mean that the apostles abandoned their occupations completely though, in fact the scriptures show us that these occupations were thereafter used by them as a means to pursue their calling. This is the model we have been given in scripture.
3.) Good News, You Can Do It!
At this point, you may be asking yourself “If all believers are called to evangelism, what implications does that have for my life?”. That’s a great question! It’s a question I would encourage you to go to God with. But to try to answer your question in a most basic way, I have to say this: If God has called you into relationship with Himself, it means He has also called you to act.So if you have gotten to this point in the blog, and these words have challenged you at all, or even if they’ve made you feel uncomfortable, there’s something I’d like to ask you to do. Take a moment here to brainstorm with me about how God might want to use you right now. Below, you will find 5 questions. Take just a few minutes to look over them.
- When was the last time I had a meaningful conversation about life with anyone outside my church family?
- What are some ways God might be able to use my job/station as a gift to fulfill my call to reach the lost?
- Could God use my job/station in a foreign context to reach the lost?
- How well would this statement describe you: I’m interested in reaching the lost in our area, but I don’t know where to start.
- How well would this statement describe you: I’m already engaged with lost people in our area, but I want to become more intentional with these relationships spiritually.
If you’re serious about this, I’d like to ask you to send me your answers to the questions above by clicking the button below and lets start up a conversation together about how God can use you to reach the lost right now.
Thank you again so much, and if you ever have any questions feel free to reach out to me anytime.