By Chuck Lawless
Even as a professor of evangelism, I have to continually push myself to do evangelism. For what it’s worth (and frankly, as a matter of accountability), here are some steps I’m taking to move in the right direction:
- Ask God daily to let me see people as He sees them. I tend to see people as the driver in the car who cut me off, the cashier at the gas station, and the neighbor whose name I don’t know. God sees them as sheep without a shepherd and souls for whom Jesus died.
- Ask other believers to pray at least once a week that I will speak the gospel boldly and clearly. This approach is nothing more than what Paul asked the Ephesians and the Colossians to do for him (Eph. 6:18-20; Col. 4:2-4). If Paul needed that kind of prayer support, I surely do.
- Ask God to renew my fire for Him. The bottom line for me is this: I do evangelism when I’m most amazed by Jesus. That’s why I wrote Nobodies for Jesus, and now I’m being challenged like never before to apply personally my own teachings.
- Pray by name for non-believers at least once a week. I often pray every day for some non-believer, but I have also set up one weekly focused time for praying that God would open the blinded minds of non-believers (2 Cor. 4:3-4).
- Strive to speak a good word about God to somebody each day. God is so majestic and His blessings are so numerous that I have no reason not to speak of His goodness. Even if I daily speak those words to only a believer, I develop the practice of moving conversations toward God.
- Force myself to get to know people I don’t know. I’m an introvert who would prefer to read a book, but that tendency obviously hinders evangelism. With God’s grace and in His power, I’m learning to push myself out of my shell.
- Offer to pray for others. Simply letting people know I’m committed to praying for them can open doors for deeper conversations. Life hurts sometimes, and folks who bear burdens alone are often both surprised by and appreciative of the offer of prayer.
- Commit to telling a non-believer what Jesus means to me at least once a week. If one of the above strategies doesn’t open this door, here’s the approach I take: “I’m a follower of Jesus, and I’ve made a personal commitment to tell others what He means to me each week. May I have five minutes to tell you my story, and you help me to know if anything is unclear?” I’ve been surprised by how many people are open to listen.
- Use social media to tell the gospel. I need to do evangelism face-to-face, but the Internet also provides multiple avenues for telling others about Jesus. I do not want to miss any opportunities.
- Just be obedient because I want to please God. Anything less than a lifestyle of telling others about Jesus – and initiating those conversations because it models our God who came to us while we were yet sinners – would be disobedience.
What other steps would you add to this list?