20 Things An Evangelist Should Believe
1. God is mission.
As Father, Son and Holy Spirit our God is Sender, Sent and Proceeding. His being is irreducibly bound up in sending – in mission. He is the out-ward focussed God, the spreading God. In the words of David Bosch, he is “a Fountain of sending love.
2. Life in God means life on mission.
To be “godly” is to share in God’s own missionary life.
3. The Father is over our missionary efforts.
He is the real One who summons the world to faith in Christ and who orders all things that they might be brought under His feet (Eph 1:10).
4. The Son is the centre of all our missionary efforts (Rom 1:3-4).
He is the One proclaimed – the substance of all our proclamation (Colossians 1:28). Good thing too because He is unbelievably attractive. Speak of Him and you cannot go wrong.
5. The Spirit is the power of all our missionary efforts.
As we go we are ‘clothed with power’ (Luke 24:49). The One whose very nature is to make known the Son is with us and speaks through us.
6. The world is utterly lost.
The natural state of the race of Adam is disconnection from the God of life – it is perishing. It’s hell to be Christless (Ephesians 2:12).
7. The gospel is the power of God for salvation (Rom 1:16).
God is unleashing divine potency as we testify to Christ.
8. In Christ, I’m already who I need to be.
I already am salt and light (Matt 5:13-16). I am a witness (Acts 1:8). I am priestly (1 Peter 2:9). Whether I act on this or not, I don’t have to become evangelistic. In the community of the church, God has made us what we need to be.
9. My greatest problem is not the culture but me.
My flesh is the real enemy to evangelism not lack of evangelistic techniques! My flesh curves me in on myself when mission is to extend myself into the lives of others. My desire for comfort, ease, and approval is what stops me gospelling.
10. Christ has earned me the right to speak.
All authority is Christ’s (Matthew 28:16-18) and he gives it to his people (Matthew 28:19-20). I don’t earn the right to speak, the Risen Jesus has earned it already. “Therefore go!”
11. Giving myself away is the happy life.
As I share Jesus I benefit hugely – I come to appreciate all the good things I have in Christ as I articulate them (Philemon 6). And as I give myself to others I follow in the way of Christ, the way of blessing. (Mark 8:35)
12. Disgrace for the sake of the Name is glorious (Acts 5:41).
There is nothing like evangelism for experiencing standing with Jesus as one chosen out of the world (John 15:18-21).
13. Nothing is neutral (Matt 12:30).
My friends, family, colleagues and the public space is not neutral but conveys spiritual values all the time. I never ‘inject’ God-talk into the world. All talk is god-talk, that is – talk about ultimate spiritual values. I never need to be ashamed that I’m the one forcing spiritual views on another. Such proselytising is a necessary part of all conversation. I may as well bring true God-talk to bear.
14. The Gospel is about everything!
Fundamentally I don’t have to turn the conversation to spiritual things. It’s already spiritual and it has already been addressed by the Father in the Son and by the Spirit. (I just have to figure out how! – but that will come in time.)
15. Church is God’s mission strategy for the world
Christ’s people are already chosen, dearly loved and special in our world-focussed, outward-looking-ness (1 Pet 2:9). I have a whole body – the body of Christ – behind me. In fact no, let me re-phrase. The body of Christ surrounds me as an intrinsically evangelistic organism. The burden is never on my shoulders.
16. The community in its unity is vital (John 13:34-35; John 17:20-26).
Before I have loved the unbeliever, my love of the believer (if done in view of the world) has already witnessed powerfully to Christ.
17. The community in its diversity is vital (Eph 4:10-12; 1 Peter 4:10-11).
I have been uniquely gifted in the evangelistic task and I am surrounded by others (who I need) who are likewise uniquely gifted.
18. I don’t have to be holy first then a missionary.
I strive for holiness in mission. It is the outward-looking holding-up-of-Christ that is the umbrella activity of the Christian under which my holiness is worked out. So we don’t wait to evangelise while we sort out our personal walk. We use mission to conquer those besetting sins and habits (they won’t be properly conquered any other way!).
19. I don’t have to be polished first and then a missionary.
My life on mission is how I am discipled. As I go I learn. And all I really need is the testimony of John 9: “I was blind but now I see.”
20. There is reward for the evangelist!
“Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.” (Daniel 12:3)
“I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.” (Luke 16:9)
“What is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you?” (1 Thes 2:19)