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Evangelism: A Way of Life

When I was growing up in the church, evangelism was an event. Reaching others with the gospel was often achieved by the use of methods, such as door knocking and mass canvassing. When we found someone that was open to listening to us, we were taught to regurgitate a memorized speech, and then call for them to make a commitment to Jesus. Individual differences were not considered, and a relationship with the person was not deemed necessary.

One of the biggest problems with this approach is that it mirrored the traditional sales model of delivering a canned speech, handling objections, and then closing the sale. Further, when the “sale” was completed, our job was finished.

Sounds a lot like a used car salesman, doesn’t it?

Instead of focusing on the PRODUCT (conversion), we should engage the PERSON in meaningful dialogue. In other words, we need to develop relationships with people who need Jesus, regardless of the potential outcome. When we do this, we will show others that we care about them as people—not as a way to add notches to our spiritual belts.

If we truly invest in people, our worldview will radically change. We will begin establishing relationships with people, serving them, and looking for ways to meet their needs because we love them—not because there are strings attached. In fact, we will not be so consumed with the daily nuances of our lives because we will be too busy looking for people who have needs, whether they be physical, emotional, or spiritual.

What would happen if we followed the example of Jesus, who came “to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many”? (Matt 20:28). Wouldn’t it change our entire way of life?

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