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EVANGELISM

HOW DO I ENFLUENCE OTHERS FOR CHRIST?

I. INTRODUCTION
Evangelism is defined in the New Testament as the spread of the
gospel or good news, by news of proclamation or announcement.
This evangelism is defined by its content or message (good news), and
not by it’s methods or results. All believers should be involved in
Evangelism in spreading or sharing the gospel (good news). It is not
just the spiritually gifted Evangelist (Ephesians 4:11-12) who is
involved in carrying out Evangelism. All believers should be sharing
their faith in word & action (II Corinthians 5:17-21).

We will be looking at how we share our faith with people who do not
know Christ. This faith is showed in word as much as it is in action.
Unbelievers look to us as an example of who a Christian is and what a
Christian does. The way we live our life is a very important part of
sharing our faith. Unbelievers look to see how we treat them in every
day situations. We as believers want to develop relationships with
them and then share our personal story. The testimony on what Christ
has done for you and what Christ has already done and wants to do for
them. This is Relational Evangelism. We will learn all about
relational evangelism if we go through the Evangelistic Training Class
“Becoming A Contagious Christian” which will be offered at
Creekside in the future. We will learn to communicate our faith in a

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style that fits us. This lesson will cover some of the material that is
gone over in detail in that class.

This type of Evangelism is not becoming something odd that we do


not want to be or trying to become something great that will never be.
Relational evangelism is building relationships and sharing your story
(testimony) of your life in what Christ did for you.

II. 7 KEY COMPONENTS OF RELATIONAL EVANGELISM


(Becoming A Contagious Christian)

1. Authentic – This effective relationship flows out of a genuine


living relationship with Christ
A. Our love for unbelievers passes through us to others
B. A life that is noticeably marked by God’s love &
leadership (John 15:5)
1. “Christians are to be good news before they share
the good new” – Joe Aldrich
2. Natural – The process of sharing our faith should reflect our
own personality and design
A. Not trying to act or be a certain way that is not us
B. This assures others the message we have to share is real
and worth listening to
3. Personal – Talking and sharing directly to a friend (face to
face) more often opens people up to talk about spiritual issues
A. Generally if we need advice on an important decision we
talk to someone we know and trust
B. In this day, age, and culture less personal methods of
communication are becoming less effective (tracts, TV,
radio etc.)
4. Verbal – We must learn to communicate the message in
initiating spiritual conversation and explaining biblical truth
A. Just as words without actions are empty so are actions
without words (Romans 10:14)
B. We must live and explain the gospel with words and
actions
5. Process – Oriented – It takes time for people to understand the
message and commit their lives to Christ
A. Do not rush or push a person to commit their lives to

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Christ if they are not ready to make that personal
decision
1. Learn to be patient
` B. No one comes to Jesus unless the Father draws them first
(John 6:44)
6. Team Oriented – God will use more than 1 person to bring
someone through the entire process of coming to faith in Him
(I Corinthians 3:7-9)
A. We are not meant to carry the burden of a person’s
salvation alone
B. Partnering with other Christians brings support and
strength
7. Putting Others First – Being more concerned about the
unbeliever’s needs and deferring to their interests not our own
(Philippians 2:3-5)
A. Listening to their opinions before giving ours
B. Taking an interest in their backgrounds, questions,
doubts, and frustrations
C. This will earn us the right to talk about our interests,
which will include our relationship with Christ

III. DIFFERENT STYLES OF EVANGELISM


(Becoming a Contagious Christian)
God wants to work through each person’s unique personality that He
has given them. As we look to the Bible we see at least 6 different
evangelistic styles:
1. Confrontational Style – A message that is delivered straight-
forward, direct, assertive, and with confidence
A. Peter stood up in front of thousands to confront them
with the truth about Christ (Acts 2:14-41)
1. Holy spirit powerfully used Peter as a vessel to
bring people to repentance and baptism
2. He was not afraid to approach spiritual matters
directly
2. Intellectual Style – This style is full of reasoning from the
Scriptures through explaining and proving Christ
A. It is very inquisitive, analytical, and logical liking debate
and asking questions

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B. Paul uses this style when he was commenting on their
“unknown god” building a logical and factual case to the
point of presenting the resurrected Christ to them
(Acts 17:22-34)
3. Testimonial Style – This is a personal message that is verbally
communicated on what God has done in the believer’s life
A. These people are able to relate their experience well
through story telling
B. The blind man who was miraculously given sight by
Jesus by telling of his own experience and what Jesus did
for him
1. “One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”
(John 9)
4. Interpersonal Style – This is built on building relationships
with people in the hope of developing friendships and trust to
personally bring them towards Christ
A. A person with this style is warm, conversational, and
friendship-oriented, tending to focus on people and their
needs more than on ideas
B. Mathew had a banquet for his tax collector friends who
did not know Jesus with the purpose of getting to know
Jesus and his disciples (Luke 5:27-31)
5. Invitational Style – This is a unique ability to invite people to
a place where the gospel is being preached so they may come to
know Christ personally
A. These people are usually hospitable, relational, and
persuasive making friends, family, and acquaintances
interested in participating in what they are doing
B. The women at the well was not personally challenging
them with the truth as much as it was to get them all to
come to hear Jesus for themselves (John 4:1-42)

C. “A recent national survey we conducted among


unchurched adults indicated that 25% would attend a
church if a friend ever took the time or made the effort to
invite them. That’s 1 out of 4 adults. If the unchurched
population in this country is roughly 60 to 70 million

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people (best estimate) that means 15 to 18 million adults are
waiting to be asked to go to church” – George Barna
6. Serving Style – Evangelizing through serving in selfless acts of
kindness opening the door for opportunities to speak about
God, often with people who are difficult to reach.
A. Many times if you help them in time of need you have
their attention to share Christ which is their biggest need.
B. Dorcas was a women who served Christ in serving others
by doing good and helping the needy by making clothes
and other clothing for the widows in her town (Acts 9:36)
C. People who evangelize in this style see needs and find
joy in providing for those needs
7. In looking at all these different styles you may see yourself in
more than one. The purpose of reviewing this was for you to
see that there are many ways to evangelize. It’s a relief to know
that we can be ourselves while being used of God to reach
others in many ways. We do not have to force ourselves into a
mold that does not fit us. This would be less effective if we
tried. He designed your unique mix of personality, interests,
spiritual gifts, skills, an passion to equip you with an
evangelistic style that will effectively touch many of the people
around you.

IV. THE MESSAGE BEHIND EVANGELISM

1. The ability to share your faith does not come by all the
theological knowledge you have, but it comes from the love
you share (I Corinthians 8:1-3)
A. Pray to God that he would give you the wisdom you need
to be able to share with the unbeliever who is brought
into your life (James 1:5)
B. Pray continually for these people that you have shared
the gospel with through words, actions, and testimony
(Ephesians 1:16-21)
2. It is important that you are prepared to give an answer to
everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you
have (I Peter 3:15)

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A. This hope is the gospel of Jesus Christ which is laid out
plainly in the Bible.
1. Sin separates us from God – Romans 3:23
2. God loves sinful man – John 3:16
3. Jesus died for our sins – Romans 5:8
4. Jesus is the only way to God – John 14:6
5. We must receive Christ by faith – Ephesians 2:8-9
6. How do I receive Christ – Romans 10:9-10
7. Repent & be baptized – Acts 2:38

B. The Bridge Illustration (Navigators 1981)


1. God wants to have a relationship with us.

2. However, we have rebelled against Him and


broken off that relationship.

3. Most of us are aware of this and try to do thins to


get back to God, but it doesn’t work.

4. Furthermore, the sins we have committed have to


be punished, and that punishment is death.

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5. But God did for us what we could not do, and that
is build a bridge back to Himself.

6. He did that by paying our death penalty when He


died on the cross.

7. It is not enough just to know this. We must act on


it by admitting that we have rebelled and by telling
God that we want His forgiveness and leadership.

8. Conclude by asking your friend where they think


they are on the diagram?

C. 3 T’s to Remember
1. Trust in Christ as Lord and Savior
2. Turn from your sin
3. Testify through Baptism
3. As the Holy Spirit begins to work in your life as you get to
know God better by reading His word, spending time with Him
in prayer, and growing together with other believers, you will
naturally want to let others know what He has done for you.
A. One powerful tool in sharing your faith is your own story of
how you came to know Jesus. Tell others how you
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B. used to think before Jesus came into your life, and tell them
the changes that have taken place since you committed your
life to Christ.
C. Take time to commit the basic gospel message to memory
and then ask the Lord to open opportunities to share your
new faith with someone today.
1. The gospel of Christ is the power of God to
salvation for everyone who believes (Romans1:16)
4. The Great Commission to all believers:
Mathew 28:18-20
[18] Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on
earth has been given to me. [19] Therefore go and make disciples of all
nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of
the Holy Spirit, [20] and teaching them to obey everything I have
commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of
the age."

IV. DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. What is the first step I need to do before sharing Christ with


someone?

2. What is evangelism? Who is called to evangelize?

3. What are steps I can take in sharing Christ with a family


member? An acquaintance I have just met for the first time?

4. How do I share Christ with a person that has heard the gospel
message, but has not committed their life to Christ?

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5. Why is sharing our faith considered a process?

6. Do you have any other questions?

Some more thoughts


Sharing the gospel
After Jesus had been resurrected and had appeared to his disciples for several weeks, he took
them to the Mount of Olives. The disciples asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to
restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). In other words, where are we now in the prophetic
timetable? Are we near the end?
And Jesus answered, “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his
own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will
be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”
(verses 7-8). In other words, you don’t need to know the prophetic timetable. What you need
to do is to preach the gospel.
What Jesus said to the disciples is still true: Our place in prophecy is not to calculate dates,
but to preach the gospel. We do not need to worry about the next phase of God’s plan—we
need to be diligent about the phase of history we are currently in. This is the church age, the
gospel-preaching age, and we need to be doing the work he has assigned us.

Evangelism is central to our mission, as described in Jesus’ “Great Commission”:


“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I
have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20).

For apostles only?

However, a few people have wondered: "Since it was the apostles who were
commanded to preach the gospel in these verses, how do we know that it applies
to us today? Isn’t our role just to set a good example, and then give the gospel to
people only when they ask about it? The Bible does not actually command us to
preach to the public, does it?"

Some might argue that the command is given to the apostles, not to us. True, the
command is directed to the apostles. They were commanded to preach the
gospel and baptize believers. But there is a bit more to the story.

Let’s go back to Matthew 28:19-20. Jesus told his apostles to teach people to obey
everything he had commanded them. And one of his commands to them was to

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preach, and as a result, the apostles taught believers to obey Jesus’ command to
preach the gospel. In effect, Jesus gave a self-perpetuating command. Future
disciples were to carry on the commission. Matthew ended his book with a
command that his readers needed to obey.

Verse 20 tells us that Jesus promised, "I am with you always, to the very end of
the age." Jesus did not promise merely to be with the apostles, but with the
church throughout the centuries. The commission is likewise applicable to all the
church, from the earliest apostles even to the end of the age. The New Testament
records the results of Christ being with and motivating apostles and many other
believers to preach the gospel.

A word about ‘preach’

Before we look at examples in the New Testament about the church carrying out
the command to preach, let us take a moment to better understand the Greek
words usually translated "preach" or "preaching." Some Christians are put off by
the idea that all believers are called on to "preach." They understand "preaching"
as standing up in a group and speaking convincingly and forcefully about the
gospel. Naturally, very few people are equipped to do that kind of "preaching,"
and do it effectively and responsibly.

But "preach" is only one of the possible ways the Greek words can be translated.
One of the words commonly translated "preach" is euaggelizo, and it means "to
bring or announce good news." Certainly, the common understanding of
"preach" is an important way in which the good news is announced. But that
common understanding is certainly not the only way to bring the gospel.

Notice, for example, such passages as Luke 1:19 and 2:10, in which euaggelizo is
translated "show" or "bring" the good news. Our concept of "preach" needs to
expand to include the many other ways the gospel can be given to others. The
concept intended with euaggelizo is that of a person or persons getting across the
message of the good news of the gospel to other people. There are many ways in
which that can be done in addition to preaching.

Another word usually translated "preach" is kerusso, and this means to herald, to
proclaim, to make known. This can be done by public preaching, certainly, but it
can be done in other ways too. The word used in Mark 16:15 and translated
"preach" is kerusso.

Different translations often use different words to translate kerusso or euaggelizo.


For example, in Luke 9:2, the King James Version translates kerusso as "preach,"
while the New American Standard translates it "proclaim." In Luke 1:19, the KJV
translates euaggelizo as "shew thee these glad tidings," while the NAS translates it
as "bring you this good news" and the New International Version has it "tell you
this good news."
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Getting the gospel to others, then, is not limited just to popular notions of
preaching. On the contrary, informing others about the grace of God in Jesus
Christ can take many, many forms, and all of us are gifted by the Spirit to bring
the gospel to others in one way or another.

Evangelism in the early church

Throughout the book of Acts, we see the apostles carrying out Jesus’
commission. They declared that Jesus is the Christ, that he was crucified and
raised from the dead, and that salvation is available through him. It was a Christ-
centered message, an "evangelistic" or "gospel-oriented" message.

But was the gospel proclaimed by the apostles alone? Certainly not! Stephen did
great works in the name of Christ, and argued that Jesus is the Christ (Acts 6:8-
10). Before the Sanhedrin, he forcefully argued that Jesus is the Righteous One,
the Messiah, predicted in the Scriptures (Acts 7:51-52). And his dying words
were a testimony to God’s forgiveness of sins in Christ (verse 60).

God inspired Stephen, and he inspired many others. "On that day a great
persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles
were scattered.... Those who had been scattered preached the word (euaggelizo)
wherever they went" (Acts 8:1, 4). Even at risk of their lives, these lay Christians
saw to it that the gospel was given to others. They were simply doing what
Christians do naturally. They felt compelled—led by the Holy Spirit—to tell
others the good news that God had blessed them with. Luke presents the story as
a good example for us to follow.

Next, Philip went "to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there" (verse 5).
God blessed this evangelism by converting some of the Samaritans. The gospel
continued to expand.

"Those who had been scattered by the persecution in connection with Stephen
traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message only to
Jews. Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch
and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord
Jesus. The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed
and turned to the Lord" (Acts 11:19-21). Again, God inspired his people to tell the
good news about Jesus, and he blessed the results.

Paul was given a special commission as an apostle to the gentiles. But Luke tells
us that Paul was not the only one who shared the good news with them. "Paul
and Barnabas remained in Antioch, where they and many others taught and

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preached the word of the Lord" (Acts 15:34). Clearly, Luke does not think that the
commission applied only to the apostles. His book serves as an example of what
future generations of the church should do.

Also in the book of Acts, we might note the example of Apollos, who "vigorously
refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the
Christ" (Acts 18:28). Later, Paul rejoiced that even more people were preaching
Christ (Philippians 1:15-18; kerusso is used in verse 15; kataggello, meaning
"proclaim," is used in verses 16 and 18).

Paul told Timothy (2 Timothy 4:5) to do the work of an evangelist (euaggelistes—a


bringer of good news). God gives some of his people a gift for evangelism
(Ephesians 4:11). Training can make their gift even more effective. The church
could not fulfill its mission if all it ever did was wait for people to come to it. It
needs to be intentional about going out in the name of Christ and reaching
people with the good news.

Personal evangelism

At one level or another, evangelism involves every member of the church, every
disciple of Jesus Christ. As we mature in the faith, each member should become
more competent with the Christian message. "By this time you ought to be
teachers," Hebrews 5:12 says, implying that anyone who has been a Christian for
a while should be able to teach others the good news.

God has given the "message of reconciliation" to all who are reconciled by Jesus
Christ (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). We are to encourage other people to be reconciled
to God through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

As the church obeys the commands of Christ and we conduct ourselves "in a
manner worthy of the gospel of Christ" (Philippians 1:27), people will indeed
come to us and ask for help. This is evangelism by example, and it adds to rather
than replaces our responsibility to preach. We are to do both. Part of our example
should be our willingness to give credit to the One who works within us.

We are a holy people, called to "declare the praises of him who called you out of
darkness into his wonderful light" (1 Peter 2:9). How do we do this? In part, by
living "such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing
wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us"
(verse 12).

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It is in the context of setting a good example that Peter writes, "Always be
prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the
hope that you have" (1 Peter 3:15). Example and evangelism go hand in hand.

In the world today, the Christian way of life stands out. When society is
pessimistic and apathetic, the Christian hope and purpose are more noticeable.
People need and want the peace of Christ, whether they understand it yet or not.
When they ask for help, we can explain in our own words why we have hope in
Jesus Christ. A good example and a wise witness to our faith help preach the
good news.

Paul encouraged Christians to live "without fault in a crooked and depraved


generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe" (Philippians 2:15). But
the Christian’s role in the community does not stop with avoiding sin. Paul’s
very next words are "as you hold out the word of life" (verse 16). Their works
were combined with their words. Good deeds go with the gospel, and the
combination is an effective form of evangelism.

Prepared to give an answer

Each Christian should be able to explain the basics of the faith. Perhaps not in an
eloquent way, and certainly not in an argumentative way, but in simple
confidence. We know the peace of God in our lives. We know that we will be
resurrected. We know that life is worthwhile. We know that our sins are
forgiven. We know that God sent his Son to die for us, and that he now lives for
us. We know he wants us to stop living for ourselves and start living for him (2
Corinthians 5:15).

Christians can’t explain every verse of the Bible, but they can give their own
testimony as to why they believe. They can’t prove every point with an iron-clad
argument, and they don’t need to. What makes their testimony believable is their
"good behavior in Christ" (1 Peter 3:16). When we give an answer for the hope
that lies within us, the evidence is in our works as well as in our words. The two
reinforce each other to make each more effective than they would have been on
their own.

Not every member is equally gifted at explaining eloquently the grace of God,
and not every member will do it in the same way. "Evangelism," in the sense of
continually approaching others with the gospel, is a spiritual gift, and we cannot
expect every Christian to have this particular gift. But all Christians are

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commanded to be ready to give an answer. All of us should want our neighbors
to have the blessing of knowing Christ, rather than living in ignorance. All
Christians should be ready to be used by God when appropriate situations arise.

Personal evangelism should not be ignored. The Holy Spirit leads each Christian
in behavior and in word. That means that each of us should be a good example in
the community and be a faithful witness of the faith that lies within us. If you are
a more reserved person, if religion is not the first subject you want to bring up,
that’s OK. Be zealous for Christ in the way God has gifted you—but always be
ready to give an answer. Being ready includes eagerness, not just having the
right words.

Christ’s commission to bring the gospel to others is a continuing part of our


work. That is why we are committed to the work of evangelism—this is one of
the ways in which we obey Jesus Christ. This is part of our commission, part of
our responsibility.

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