There can be no genuine apostolic evangelism until we first have a passion for The Lord Himself. Apostolic evangelism is not a method, a formula, or an obligation – it is simply the obedient outgrowth of a vital relationship with God. The secret of reaching men is to the the living Jesus Christ and have the sending heart of the Father.
James Robison was a very popular Southern Baptist evangelist for many years. He prided himself on working hard to preach the Gospel in crusades from city to city. When speaking at a banquet one day, Robison boasted that he had preached for 55 consecutive days up to that point, often several times a day. At the end of his message, an elderly woman made her way up to the front in order to ask him a question.
“Brother Robison,” she stammered, “if you preach that often, when in the world do you find time to pray?”
Robison, who had a reputation for rudeness in those early days, looked squarely into her eyes and said, “Ma’am, that’s your job. You pray and I’ll preach.”
Even though Robison had quickly brushed aside her questions, to began to eat away at him. Over and over again, he played her question back in his mind, until he finally repented of his prayerlessness. He had to acknowledge that he was more in love with his ministry than truly in love with God.
Authentic apostolic evangelism is careful to stay centered around The Lord Himself rather than around ministry. It avoids the tendency to glorify toe ‘apostles’ and ‘evangelists,’ heeding the example of Paul the apostle: “For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus The Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake.” (2 Corinthians 4:5)
When we become to message instead of Jesus, something is dreadfully wrong. At that point we have ceased to function in true apostolic ministry and are instead imitating the builders of the Tower of Babel, who openly acknowledged that their motive was to “make a name for ourselves…” (Genesis 11:4b) True apostolic evangelism is just the opposite, not drawing attention to our own story or ourselves, not seeking to be heard and known, not being the center of our message – but exalting the name and fame of Jesus Christ.