Evangelism

By James M. Rochford

The term “evangelism” comes from the Greek word euangelion, which means “good news.” It is a compound word in the Greek (eu means “good” and logeo means “word”). Therefore, evangelism is the subject of sharing Jesus’ message of love and forgiveness with people who do not know him yet.

We are all “lost” before meeting Christ

Have you ever been lost before? It happens to me constantly (I get lost travelling to places that I’ve been dozens of times, so I’m well acquainted with the feeling of being lost!) It is one of the most uncomfortable experiences to have. It isn’t painful exactly—just frustrating, aggravating, and confusing. You’re embarrassed to ask for directions from others; you’re frustrated with every turn that you make; you even sometimes wonder if you’re ever going to get to your destination at all.

Interestingly, the Bible uses this word to describe people apart from Christ (see Luke 15). People travelling through life without Christ are confused, often embarrassed to ask for spiritual directions, and wonder where they are even heading when they die.

People sense that they are headed somewhere when they die. Solomon tells us that God has “planted eternity in the human heart” (Eccl. 3:11 NLT), and the Holy Spirit gives everyone a sense of their need for forgiveness. And yet, without the security and love of Christ, people secretly wonder what will happen at death. Will they stand before their Creator? Will they cease to exist? Will they come back to Earth for another chance? Without the security and love of Christ, we can’t know where we will spend eternity (1 Jn. 5:13), and instead, we are “without God” and “without hope” (Eph. 2:12).

But God offers hope! And, as believers, we have the privilege of sharing this hope with others. It’s amazing to see Christ change lives over and over and over again, as he uses us to share about his forgiveness with others. If we had the cure for cancer, we would share it with the world. How much more with the cure for death itself!

This is what evangelism is all about.

Articles on Evangelism

Four Illustrations for Evangelism: The Bible describes the work of evangelism through the illustrations of a farmer, fisherman, soldier, and ambassador. This helps to give us a balanced picture of what it looks like to share our faith for Christ.

The Biggest Barrier to Evangelism: What barriers stop us from being effective for Christ in our friendships, workplace, and neighborhoods? What false beliefs do Christians wrestle with?

Evangelistic Theory: Many books on evangelism stress formulas and tracts. We believe that we should understand the major theory of approaching people, so that we are familiar with how to work with a diverse set of individuals.

The Importance of Listening: Listening is crucial to evangelism. No one likes being cornered in a conversation, and there needs to be a lot of give and take in evangelism. To put this simply, we should move from giving presentations of the gospel—to having conversations. We should move from declaring to sharing our faith.

Apologetics and Evangelism: Apologetics cannot replace the gospel message. In fact, sometimes they can be a distraction during conversation if we’re not careful. We need to remember that apologetics remove barriers to the gospel (2 Cor. 10:3-5), but they can never replace the gospel. How should we use apologetics effectively in evangelism?

The Power of a Good Testimony: A testimony is just our firsthand account of an event. It is just like being tried as a “witness” in a court case: You appear before the jury to tell them what you have seen and heard. This explains how to prepare a good testimony.

Leading Evangelism in the Church: Many Christian leaders set an evangelistic ethos in their church, while others are confused at how to do this. Here are some suggestions on how to lead your church into the great work of evangelism.