When it comes to evangelism, that fancy theological term for sharing your faith in Jesus Christ with the person next to you, being a person of action, rather than good intentions, is key.
People of good intentions make plans; People of action get things done.
We see evidence of these two principles everyday in the world around us. Have you ever had a boss who promised to get something done in the employee break-room, but never did? Have you ever intended to get the garage cleaned out, but life got in the way?
Good intentions are a step in the right direction, but when it comes to actually being Jesus’ witness to the ends of the earth, only intentional and deliberate acting upon the command of Christ will do. Anything less is a simple matter of disobedience---the excuses matter not.
Do you recall that story in Scripture where Jesus intended to share the Gospel with another person, but never got around to it? Of course, you don’t. No such story exists. Jesus was a man of action. He came to do His Father’s will---and do His Father’s will he did!
Having said that, it’s comforting to know that God has an abundant supply of grace, isn’t it? That’s a good thing, too, because I fail in this arena everyday. How often do you hear that little voice in your head, telling you to open a conversation with your co-worker about the Gospel, but for fear of looking like a fool, you don’t?
Good intentions minus the decisiveness to act upon God-given opportunities to share our faith will leave evangelism standing at the altar every time. So how, then, do we combat our propensity to be people of good intentions, and become people of Gospel-driven action?
I have a friend who once declared that they had no responsibility to share Jesus. They understood that the Great Commission was binding on all believers, but for a host of invalid reasons, they made the willful (and disobedient) decision to take no action.
Now, before you roll your eyes at this, let’s just admit that every moment of inaction on our part is just as much a matter of pre-meditated disobedience as my friend's was. You see, every time you and I sit down and read Jesus’ words in Matthew 28:19 and Acts 1:8, we conclude something very important in our minds: I will or will not walk in obedience to these words.
Back to my friend---through a process of loving discipleship that person came to see the error in their ways, and today, they are one of the most evangelistic people I know! How did this happen? They simply made a decision to walk in obedience to the command of Christ, which involves love for God and love for others.
When it comes to evangelism, I will not obey Christ if I don’t love Him, and I will not share the Good News with my neighbor if I don’t love them. Love for God and neighbor coupled with deliberate and intentional sharing of the Good News are the ingredients of Spirit-filled evangelism.
There are many excellent helps available in print, and online today that are designed to equip us with good missional systems and just the right words to say when sharing the Gospel. Personally, I tend to use The Story as my default paradigm. This method presents the listener with a holistic view of the Bible’s meta-narrative---the big picture.
But, that’s not where evangelism starts.
Evangelism begins in my heart---and yours. It begins when I submit myself to the words of Christ, recognizing His matchless love for me that involved the greatest display of love-in-action known to man.
Do you really want to know how to “get better” at sharing your faith with others?
Start today by asking God to make you a person of Gospel-driven action, motivated by a sincere love for Him and for your neighbor.