EVANGELISM AND FOLLOW UP GROUP DISCUSSION 1
Truly, one way to determine what a thing is, is to know what it is not. In the same vein, one way to know what a thing is not, is to know what it is.
Evangelism has been explained, defined and treated in various fora as the spreading of the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ for the sake of bringing unbelievers to repentance. We do know that this task is the duty and the nature of the Church.
This Jesus Christ came and showed all Christians to emulate. In many versions of the Bible Jesus emphasized and re-emphasized evangelism as the core of His mission (Matt 9:10-13; Matt 15:24; Matt 4: 23) and has mandated or rather commanded all Christians (Matt 28:18-20), to the task of evangelism as a mandatory command.
Evangelism is a love gift or love letter from the Lord. Every Christian is expected to show genuine commitment in bringing this to the doorsteps of every unbeliever, as exemplified by the Lord Jesus Christ; going from place to place with His disciples seeking for the lost souls. The essence of the church is evangelism; hence should be measured not by sitting capacity but by soul winning capacity.
Evangelism as formally defined is concerted, self-conscious effort to confront the unbeliever with the truth about and claims of Christ with a view to leading that unbeliever into repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. This definition shows readiness based on preparations and other attributes, which will positively enhance the success of the exercise.
However, evangelism seems not to achieve it purposes because of various reasons which are not limited to: condemnation messages, segregation or class designation, unplanned, unintentional, unwillingness by the church/Christians to obey the command, ambiguous messages instead of the love message etc.
Generally, as earlier mentioned for effective or true evangelism to take place, certain procedure ought to apply:
Evangelism is the Goodnews of the Gospel and for you to be the carrier as commanded by the Master, it must come from the heart willingly. Prayerful preparations and other necessary tools will be deployed prior to the time. Because, you know you are on a mission with command, your commitment should not be in doubt and of course, the Master will crown your efforts with success.
2. Message Content
Because you are aware that everyone including yourself have sinned and come short of the glory of God, yours will just be to present the love of God message to the prospect, without any room for condemnation. The message should be simple and straight to the point. Statements; like, your own sins is much not arise; knowing that grace abounds. Evangelism requires love and due care for one another. It is an encouragement boat to the promised land; which brings the unbeliever to the point of asking which way forward.
3. All Christians Responsibility
In most Churches and places, evangelism is only left for the evangelists, evangelism team and few willing members of the church. In the line with the Master’s command, evangelism is compulsory for all Christians. Hence, it is necessary for every Christian to make up his/her mind to embrace it with all amount of seriousness. It has to be a deliberate action for all of us in the Kingdom, because it is the kingdom business and the Master has so commanded that if we love Him, we should we should obey (John 14:15).
Evangelism is another name for the Great Commission by the Master (Matt 28:18-20) and can be efficiently carried out and achieved by deploying the five elements of command, timing, message, location and target; with the instrumentality of genuine holding of the tenets of the gospel. Fundamentally, evangelism is the essence and nature of the Church and every Christian. Therefore, we are obliged to comply, if truly we belong to the Vineyard of the Lord.