Our second edition of the HSM Magazine just came out. We are so excited because it came out awesome. I was so blessed to be able to write an article for the magazine for our students to read. If you want to check out he whole magazine, click HERE. If you want one, let me know and I’ll see if I can send you one. Here is the article I wrote:
I don’t know about you, but when I think of the word “evangelism” I think about the people who stand out on the street corner on a box yelling at people about Jesus and hell as they walk by. Thank you but no thank you. That’s not my style, and probably not yours either. When we think of us going to evangelize to our friends, people at our school, or even our families in some cases, we automatically get sweaty palms just thinking about it. Why? Lets just be honest, we feel weird talking to them about our faith. Why? Because talking about our faith is deemed as “weird” to people who do not know about Christianity. So how do we evangelize to our friends without being “that weird kid”? Hopefully we can help unpack how to do this and you can share the Gospel with the people you are around on a daily basis.
First off, as followers of Christ, we are expected to share the news about Jesus life and resurrection. In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Now, this doesn’t mean as soon as you meet someone new you start to just blurt out facts about Jesus and ask if they were ready to be Christian now, unless you love the sight of people running away from you, I wouldn’t do that. As Christians, we are responsible to share with others about Jesus, eventually, in our relationship with them. There are some great ways in which we can “explain Jesus” to others without just blurting it out like a freshmen asking a girl to a dance. but rather living in a way that will eventually end up with you explaining who Jesus is and the good news that He brings.
Pray for them- The most important thing we can do is pray for them. Pray that God would change their hearts and open their eyes (2 Corinthians 4:4) to the truth of the gospel. Pray that God would convince them of His love for them and their need for salvation through Jesus Christ (John 3:16). Pray for wisdom as to how you can minister to them (James 1:5). In addition to praying, we must also live godly Christian lives in front of them, so they can see the change God has made in our own lives (1 Peter 3:1-2). As Saint Francis of Assisi once said, “Preach the gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”
Live it first- If we are studying the Bible, we know that living a Christ-like life looks different compared to how the rest of the world lives. The next time you study the Bible, try to see how you can apply what you are reading to your life first. Not only will your own life be changed as a result of studying scripture, when it comes time to share what you have learned to others, it will mean way more to you and how it applies to your life and people will see your passion. When your friends see how the Bible has changed your life they will be more inclined to change their life based on the life style you live.
You basically share Jesus through your lifestyle. This form of evangelism focuses on building relationships with one person at a time. Through friendship, opportunities arise to share the gospel.
Be real- One of the most effective ways to minister to people around you is just to be real. One of the top reasons why people are so turned off to Christianity is because people are fake. It is really hard to fake yourself with people who see your ups and downs, successes and failures, people who hear how you talk in your best and worst times, by people you see every single day for 8 hours at school. Be authentic in the way to talk and you live, not just at church or at school. When you mess up and use bad language, call yourself out on it in front of everyone. That will do more ministering to the people around you because they will wonder why you don’t want to speak like that. Saying, “Just be like Jesus” is not realistic. Jesus was perfect. Us following Jesus are not perfect, at all. When non-believers see that you are just like them and mess up, but they see how you handle the mess up physically, verbally, and mentally. They will take note of that far more than anything else you can do.
So long as lifestyle evangelism does not replace the verbal sharing of the gospel, it is a legitimate ministry tool. Lifestyle evangelism can be a wonderful way to show faith in action in a world that needs to see what true Christianity looks like.
Speak it- Now, like I said in the beginning, the end all in evangelizing to the people around you is eventually speaking to them about the Good News of Jesus. You have prayed for them, you live out what you learn from reading the Bible, and are being real, there will be opportunities which come up to speak to them about Jesus, it is just up to you to take them. If you ask God to make you bolder, does He automatically make you bold? Or does He give you opportunities to be bolder? When you ask God to give you more patience, doe He automatically give you patience? Or does He give you opportunities to be more patient. You have to pray for the opportunities which come up while living your life in a real and authentic way, God will arise opportunities for you to speak to those around you to share your faith in a real, authentic, natural way.
I can tell you many stories of me actually taking these steps to explain the Gospel to my friends and family around me, and I would be happy to tell them and help you walk through what this looks like in your life. Let me know your stories!