All Christians are called to share their faith as a point of faithfulness, not gifting.
J. Mack Stiles
How We Evangelize
We fix Biblically principled, Gospel-centered evangelism on our hearts.
“Teaching the Gospel with the aim to persuade.”
Salvation must be revealed to us by God through His Word.
Teaching is the pattern of the Bible.
Teach the Gospel
Must be taught for someone to be converted.
Study Scriptures with unbelievers.
The Gospel is the joyful message that God leads us to salvation.
Gospel answers four big questions.
Who is God?
Why are we in such a mess?
What did Christ do?
How can we get back to God?
God is our Creator. He is loving, holy, and just. He will execute perfect justice for sin.
Man: People are made imago dei, but rebelled against God and are at enmity with Him.
Christ: The Son of God who lived a sinless life, which gave Him the ability to be the perfect sacrifice. By His death on the cross, he ransomed sinful people. His resurrection is validation of His victory.
Response: Acknowledge sin, repent, and believe.
“The hope of evangelism is that we so steep ourselves in the gospel truth and gospel living, and so apply ourselves to gospel study, that the gospel can’t help but come out of us.”
We must understand that everyone we talk to is headed to one of two ends: eternal life or eternal punishment.
This is the aim or direction in our gospel teaching.
Reminds us that people need more than data transfer.
Helps us to be compassionate, understanding, and loving (1 Peter 3:15).
What’s at stake?
See people moved from darkness to light, from bondage to freedom.
Persuade people to become followers of Jesus (2 Cor 5:11)
We persuade, BUT:
We do not manipulate.
We do not bring about repentance or conversion.
True conversion is the work of the Holy Spirit.
Conversion comes from true, conscious, genuine faith in Jesus Christ.
We cannot produce conversion or genuine faith.
True conversion is unique. It’s born out of repentance and faith, and it’s fruit is a changed life.
What if we get evangelism wrong?
The focus of preaching and teaching turns to a living a moral life, not a gospel-centered life.
Non-Christians are lulled into thinking that they are okay in their lost state.
Christians think that non-Christians are believers because they made a superficial outward commitment.
The church baptizes non-Christians.
The church allows non-Christians into membership.
Eventually, non-Christians become leaders in the church.
A church becomes a subculture of nominalism.
What hinders evangelism?
Fear of rejection
Being lumped into weird stereotypes
Developing a culture of evangelism
Hold one another accountable.
Strengthen mutual resolve.
Learn from one another.
Rejoice together in success, cry together in failure.
Bond through shared experiences in intense situations.
Programs cannot be the primary way of evangelism.
We need “Christians intentionally talking about the gospel.”
Influence of family.
Small group bible studies.
Conversations w/ friends.
“A strict diet of evangelistic programs produces malnourished evangelism.” Stiles
Use them strategically and in moderation, remembering that God did not send an event, He sent His Son.
What is a culture of evangelism?
A culture motivated by love for Jesus and His Gospel. (2 Cor 5:14-15)
A culture that is confident in the Gospel. (Rom 1:16)
We build each other up and remind one another to put aside worldly practices and techniques of evangelism, placing our full confidence in the power of the plain message of the gospel.
A culture that understands the dangers of entertainment. (Ezek. 33:30-32)
You may get a crowd through such methods, but you won’t get their hearts.
“We don’t mistake entertainment for evangelism, or ministry for entertainment. We declare the wonderful truths of God.” Stiles
The dangers of entertainment
A lion crouching at the evangelical door, ready to devour us.
A culture that sees people clearly. (2 Cor 5:16a)
We don’t see them through the eyes of the world, but through the eyes of God.
A gospel view of people: see them as beautiful, valuable creatures made in the image of God.
Mindful of what people can become: new creations in Chris, renewed and restored by the transforming power of God.
A culture that pulls together as one. (Phil 1:3-5)
All to pull in the same direction together. (pg 54)
Everyone is engaged.
All Christians are called to share their faith as a point of faithfulness, not gifting. (Matt 28:19)
We all work together toward the goal of being witnesses for Christ.
A culture in which people teach one another. (1 Pet. 3:15b, 2 Tim 1:13)
Thoughtful training, which we put to use.
Training to lead a bible study with non-christians.
Teach one another:
What is evangelism?
What is the Gospel?
What is true Biblical conversion?
How to share the Gospel message.
A culture that models evangelism. (2 Tim 2:2)
People model evangelism for one another.
A culture in which people who are sharing their faith are celebrated. (Phil. 2:19-22)
Possibility of regularly starting fellowship time by asking for stories of those talking about Jesus, and then pray for them.
A culture that knows how to affirm and celebrate new life. (Col 1:3-4,7)
‘Hallelujah’ and ‘We’ll see’ approach.
‘Hallelujah’ because true conversion is the best thing that can happen to a person.
‘We’ll see’ because conversion can be counterfeit, even if unintentionally.
Three-fold check for believers.
A good understanding of the Gospel.
A changed life.
A long-term walk with Christ.
A culture doing ministry that feels risky and dangerous. (Phil. 1:12-13)
Need to be confronting culture and disregarding what people think about us.
A culture that understands that the church is the chosen and best method for evangelism. (Acts 2:46-47)
“I long for a church that disarms with love, not entertainment, and lives out countercultural confidence in the power of the gospel.” J. Mack Stiles.
Church and Evangelism
Love for one another in the church is a statement that we are truly converted. And when we are unified, we show the world that Jesus is the Son of God. (John 13:35, 17:20-21)
We allow the things that God has already built into the church to proclaim the gospel.
Church is formed by preaching the Word of God, the church is given the task of making disciples, disciples then preach the gospel to form new churches.
A culture of evangelism is grassroots, not top down.
Members are sent out to do evangelism.
It is not the best thing for ‘the church’ to set up programs, but rather for you to think how you can reach out.
In a healthy church, visitors see the gospel present in all we do.
Sing the Word.
Pray the Word.
Preach the Word.
Understanding the church helps us get the right compass heading for evangelism.
The Church: A gathering of baptized, born-again Christians who covenant together in love to meet regularly under the authority of the Scriptures and the leadership of the elders to worship God, be a visible image of the gospel, and to give God glory. (John 3:1-8; 13:34-35; Acts 2:41; 14:23; Eph 3:10; Col 3:16; 2 Tim 3:16-17, Heb 10:24-25).
What the church does.
The people regularly gather in gospel love to hear the Word preached, sing, pray, give, and practice the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Members, those who have covenanted together, lovingly care for one another (1 Cor. 12:12-26), even through the practice of church discipline (Matt 18:15-17).
The mission of the church.
Go to all peoples to make disciples, teaching them to obey everything Christ has commanded-including forming new churches (Matt 1:18-20).
A church is not a marketplace of good ideas for living well, but a fellowship submitted to the Word of God.
Individual members are called to step up and solve a problem themselves in order to protect the primary ministry of the church’s leaders: the ministry of the Word and prayer.
How do we become intentional evangelists living in intentional cultures of evangelism?
Prepare our hearts, minds, and feet.
Are we motivated?
Is our church cultivating compassion for those who don’t know Christ?
Do our members need to be encouraged when non-Christian hearts seem so hardened?
Are our members convinced that the gospel is what produces the greatest change the world can know in hearts, minds, and lives, and the community at large?
Are we equipped?
Equip with the Gospel.
Gospel should be present in songs.
Gospel should be present in preaching.
Gospel be thoughtfully present in all aspects of church life.
Are we available?
The quickest route to heresy and error is “relevant” evangelism.
Seeker sensitive movement is backwards.
Churches are called to concentrate on God, while individuals are called to be sensitive to seekers.
Be on the lookout for unbelievers at services.
Welcome them and help them understand what a worship service is about.
Build friendships that are intentional with the gospel.
Understand a gospel-shaped way of life.
Gospel centrality is crucial to a culture of evangelism.
Let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel. (Phil 1:27)
How we live, forgive, work, lead, everything should be rooted in the gospel.
Slay our assumptions.
When the gospel is assumed, we begin to think that everyone who shows up is a Christian.
Leads to: there is no need to share, teach, or preach the gospel.
Don’t let assumptions kill your witness- slay the assumptions.
Stop assuming that everyone at Christian gatherings is a Christian.
Assume non-Christians are there.
See evangelism as a discipline.
“Unless we discipline ourselves for evangelism, it is very easy to excuse ourselves from ever sharing the gospel with anyone.” Don Whitney
Praying for others to be saved keeps us mindful that we don’t know whom God is calling to Himself.
At special events
As part of devotional time.
Show leadership in evangelism.
Doubly important for elders and pastors to lead by teaching and modeling evangelism.
A concern for people
Desire to talk about the gospel.
Evangelism should be a ‘front-burner’ issue.
Sharing our faith
Being an ambassador
2 Cor 5:20-21
“So then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as God is pleading through us. We beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
Remember the message: Christ.
We exist to deliver this message.
Basic principles for conversations:
Give yourself grace when you share your faith.
Meet people where they are.
Look for open doors.
Be compassionate and maintain a tender heart toward others.
We have the answers to life’s biggest questions.
Focus on people’s separation from God, not on being morally upright.
Be intentional in your conversation.
Acknowledge what we know and don’t know.
It’s good, but not required, to ask permission to share the Gospel.
Ask a lot of questions. Be a good listener.
Anticipate issues in people's lives and be acquainted with them.
Ambassador’s must be bold and clear.
Ambassador’s must deliver the message and trust Christ for the response.