Making Evangelism a Priority in the New Year
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I’m often asked this question: “I want to be better about sharing my faith in the New Year, but where do I start?”
If that is something you’re wondering as well, I would suggest that you ask yourself five questions. The answers will help you make evangelism a priority in the year ahead.
What hindered you in evangelism last year?
My mentor, Haddon Robinson, was fond of saying, “There are two kinds of people. Those who pass through experiences and experienced people.” His point was that we can pass through experiences and never learn from them or we can become people who profit from the experiences we have passed through.
Unless you look at what held you back last year, you are doomed to have the same things hold you back this year. No concern for the lost, no contacts with non-Christians, too much on your schedule, letting the clock control you instead of vice versa? Examine what kept evangelism from happening last year and that will help you prevent the same things from holding you back this year.
Are you too busy?
Busyness can kill many things, including evangelism. Regardless of how good your intentions might be, if you are too busy it will prevent you from taking the time needed to evangelize. That time might consist of doing things with unbelievers to build a rapport with them that could open up doors for the gospel, being there when they need you, or something so simple as having an unexpected conversation with them in their backyard. It is one thing to say, “My life is just too full. I am too busy.” It is another thing to do something about it.
How can you adjust your schedule to work unbelievers in?
You need to spend time with believers whom you can encourage, and they can encourage you. Sometimes though we carry that to such an extreme, that they are the only ones we see on a regular basis. The problem with that is that you cannot lead a Christian to Christ, you can only lead an unbeliever to the Lord.
What are you presently doing with some believers that could just as easily be done with unbelievers? You will be surprised when you examine this carefully and also discover how you may have isolated yourself from the very people you want to reach.
How burdened are you as to where people spend their eternity?
Admitting to ourselves that we are just not concerned about where people spend their forever is not an easy thing to do. But sometimes it is the first step in getting where we need to be.
God is a God of grace. He has no interest in lambasting His children for who they are not but in helping His children be the people He wants them to be. He encourages us to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” () One of the most rewarding prayers a believer can pray is, “God, I want to have to same compassion for the lost that you did. Move my heart closer to the hearts of those for whom You died.” You will be amazed what God begins to do to increase your love for the lost. God honors brokenness and sincerity.
How much time have you spent in prayer asking God for open doors for the gospel and to increase your skills in evangelism?
We cannot open doors for the gospel. God has to do that. Then we can walk through the doors that He has opened. Paul the apostle prayed for open doors for the gospel. ()
Those doors come in unexpected ways. Since many come to Christ in the midst of adversity, it may be the hardship a non-Christian experiences or a friend of his experiences that opens doors for the gospel.
However, don’t just pray for open doors. Ask God to increase your skills in talking to non-Christians one to one. Remember, God will do His part if you do yours. Obtain training through ministries such as EvanTell or your church that will help increase your effectiveness in talking to non-believers. That training along with your prayers will help you overcome the two obstacles that often hold people back in evangelism – fear and not knowing how.
Answering the above five questions objectively will be a huge step in making evangelism a priority in the year ahead. Sooner than you think, sharing your faith will rise from the bottom to the top of the list of things you deem important. As God uses you to change people’s eternal destiny, your life will never be the same!
Copyright © 2021 R. Larry Moyer, used with permission.
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