Some time ago I did a series of 15 blogs on evangelism secrets … these have become the most read blogs in both English and Russia and the ones I get the most feedback about. They can be found on the main web site under the resource section / evangelism teachings. I have been thinking of evangelism a lot recently because this is what many are requesting we teach on as we travel to minister in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. So, the start of a new series of blogs… Principles of Evangelism.
Principle # 1 – Keep Your Priorities Straight
Everywhere I travel to teach I find believers who have the wrong priorities. They have replaced “seek and save the lost” and “going into all the world” with something else – the main thing is no longer the main thing. So, believers need to look at their priorities and do some major readjusting.
Your priorities as a disciple of the Lord should be…
A> Abide in Christ (John 15:4-5) Which means taking the time each day to be with Him and to hear His heart. If you do this then, of course, you will evangelize because His heart is for the lost and He wants to see every person saved. Jesus said that if we abide in Him we wlll bear fruit and so we must be rooted and grounded in His love. Then we will bear fruit – souls saved.
B> Love one another is the second priority (John 15:12). Because we are members of the same body (1 Corinthians 12) we need to be building one another up in love (Ephesians 4:15) so that the body remains healthy and thus able to reproduce. The Bible is full of countless “one another” verses because when we truly are interconnected and doing our part as a member of the body then the body is able to function in wholeness and focus on the task given to it by the Head of the body – Jesus.
C> Reach the world (John 15:16). Here Jesus says “go and bear fruit…” and so we must do just that – reach the world. We are to tell others about Jesus as we go about our daily lives – intentionally taking time to stop for people and speak with them. This means scheduling must be flexible and you must allow time during the day to stop for the one. As well, you must, as a healthy disciple in good relationship with God and His people, plan to reach out to people in other nations as we are commanded in Matthew 28 to “go into all the world.”
Evangelism is a natural expression of our relationship with Jesus Christ. If we truly love Him we obey Him and His command to “go into all the world.” And, if we know His heart then we know how much He cares for the lost and we will make His burden for the lost our burden.
The truth is: the greatest obstacle to evangelism is the church that is preoccupied with its own existence. If it is self-centered and focused inward it ceases to be the church that Jesus is building and becomes man-made religion and Jesus hates religion.