In a spirit filled, growing church, every activity or programme should be permeated and be evangelistically motivated and driven by, what might be described as, integrated whole-church evangelism. Whole church evangelism, could be described as a combination of preaching, various types of outreach into the local community, church based events and friendship evangelism, all working together to reach the local community with the gospel.
For many Christians, evangelism represents a very frightening and daunting prospect that they have little idea about and consider is an aspect of ministry in serving the local church, reserved for only a select few. As a street evangelist, I often find that, to ask someone to join me in street evangelism is almost tantamount to asking them to risk their life in some dangerous military mission. Jesus Christ, the early disciples and the great Apostle Paul, were evangelists. The great commission that Christ gave to His disciples and the church was, ‘go into all the world and preach the gospel…’. Mark 16:15. This wasn’t a request, it was an order from the King of Kings. So what is evangelism and what is the gospel?
The original New Testament was written in Greek, and the word evangelist is a word that comes from the Greek, evangelista, and means, the bringer of good news. After a victorious battle, a herald, an evangelista, would be sent to tell the king, the good news of victory. An evangelist in the New Testament therefore, is the bringer of the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ; Christ died for our sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and that for all who believe in Him shall not die but have eternal life. That’s the gospel message, the good news.
The vision for evangelism at All Nations Christian Centre, is to have a committed specialist evangelism team, as an integral part of a whole church evangelism strategy. This team, accountable to the church leadership. properly equipped and trained, would be integral to, and provide a significant input into all evangelistic activities and events, not everyone is called to be a street evangelist, door to door evangelist, crusade evangelist, healing evangelist or a Billy Graham but, all Christians are called to be the bringers of the good news of Jesus Christ.
The Bible says that faith comes by hearing, therefore, Biblically, the most effective way to proclaim the gospel, is the spoken word. There is no such thing as a silent evangelist. But, I hear you say, I haven’t got your calling; I’m afraid; I don’t know what to say; I’m shy. That all may well be true, and only God can give ‘ the gift of evangelism ‘, but, you can be trained to function as an evangelist. You can be trained in how to proclaim the gospel. You do have a story – a testimony – to tell as a Christian – about Gods love and what Christ has done for you. It is said , ‘ a man with an argument is no match for a man with a testimony ‘. As Christians, we all have a testimony that reflects how the good news changed our lives. The before and after. Who can argue against that? You are invited to be a part of the team and to go and tell it. Evangelism is exciting.