One of the three main parts of Christianity is evangelism: the spreading of the Gospel to those outside of Christ. It is unfortunate, but many Christians see evangelism as the preacher’s job, not theirs. Therefore, many members of the body of Christ do nothing, or very little, to actually fulfill the expectations of God to teach the truth to the lost. Some are willing, but are unsure where to start or how to reach out to others. Some have tried one method, not seen the results desired, and given up in frustration. Some have been told they cannot be effective and the things they try to do will have no impact in the overall picture of the world.
Brethren, we must be spending time and effort trying to teach the lost. It is not optional for the faithful Christian. Consider four fairly simple ways every Christian can help teach God’s Word to others.
Share it/ post it/ tweet it. In the age of social interaction via the internet, one of the prime means by which the Gospel can be spread is online. Most people nowadays have facebook, twitter, or other social media accounts, not including their e-mail services. There are a host of articles, videos, and materials from sound brethren that are languishing in the corners of blogs, youtube channels (such as GBN’s), and church websites. They are in the shadows, not because they are not good and useful, but because the people who have seen them would not pass them to someone else. It has been my experience that every share of an article or video adds traffic to the site from friends and family who are curious or interested in the topic discussed. How is it that brethren can spend all day talking about the most mundane of earthly chores, posting pictures and graphics that do not really teach or improve anyone’s opinion on a topic, but they will not spend ten seconds to click a share button and make available the truth on an issue that affects one’s salvation and adequate service to God? Some brethren will read or watch that which is presented, say: “That’s nice,” or “like” it, but never do anything with it to benefit someone else. As members of the body of Christ, if we truly love the souls of our friends and family, we will make every attempt to place before them the truths of God’s Word by means of the myriad forms available to us.
Share tracts, books, and DVD’s. In the same vein as the first way, this tool takes on the more conventional approach of handing something to someone. Most congregations have racks in the back gathering dust with the same material that nobody has touched in the last few (insert time frame here). Today, more congregations are moving to DVD racks over paper tracts, but the issue will remain the same if the attitude of Christians does not change. Those materials are not there for appearances, nor are they intended to be decorations. In a world where people sit in front of the tv on a daily basis, we should struggle to keep Gospel DVD’s on the rack. At a time in which attention spans seem to be so limited, solid biblical tracts should be considered among the best methods to present an individual with Scriptural truths. So why are we not utilizing them? We think they are great to have, just not to give; to see, but not to use. There are many great tracts available, and World Video Bible School, Focus Press, and others have produced many great DVD’s to present the Gospel to the world. It only takes an outstretched hand to share the truth by these methods; so why aren’t we?
Bible Correspondence Courses. In the world of internet and 24/7 electronic entertainment, the old method of BCC’s has been forgotten by many, but it is still alive and well. In many areas of the world, BCC’s are still one of the easiest and best means to teach the Gospel. Some BCC’s are now available in fully electronic internet formats; others still use the old fashioned paper and pencil, while still others try to integrate the two. How long has it been since you offered someone a BCC? Have you ever used one yourself? This is a great means of evangelism and there is always the need among brethren for more volunteers to serve as teachers for these students striving to study God’s Word. It is also an excellent way to begin incorporating teenagers into the teaching of the Gospel. Having them help grade and answer students’ questions can encourage them to be more active in other areas of participation, but also help them to experience the joy of seeing one come to an understanding of the truth and obey it. For more information on this avenue of evangelism, International Bible Teaching Ministries is an excellent work and resource.
Have discussions with friends/family. Notice, I did not say shouting matches; screaming exercises; or maintaining an in-your-face, I’m right and you’re wrong, attitude. When was the last time you asked to just discuss/study things from the Bible? When was the last time you opened a discussion and, instead of telling what the Bible says, asked what they believe and why? This is still one of the most effective ways to bring people to Christ. Not by brow-beating them and informing them of how “stupid” they are; but with loving-kindness listening to what they believe, asking them for biblical proof of their beliefs and then searching the Scriptures to see whether those things are so. Entering a Bible discussion with the attitude that you are going to show who is right will get you nowhere, but entering one wanting to have an open and honest dialogue examining the truth of Scripture will both increase your faith and make possible the opening of doors with your friends and family.
Did you notice that none of these involved inviting your friends/family to services? Certainly there should always be the open invitation for one to come to services and hear the Gospel presented by that means; but the reality is that over 90% of those converted do not attend regularly until their conversion. Sitting back and waiting on people to come to us is a method doomed to failure. Christians must understand that the overwhelming majority of conversions take place outside the setting of one learning from a sermon while sitting in a pew. They generally come from learning the truth through time and effort spent by a friend or family member on a personal basis.
This is our job, our directive, our responsibility. What will we do with it? Every Christian has the ability to make a great impact on this world for the cause of Christ, but we must be willing to put to use the opportunities placed before us. Can God count on you to do your part? Because he has promised that if we plant and water he will give the increase (1 Cor. 3:6-9).