Learning to Love Evangelism

by Taylor Cornutt

Hello friends! I know when you read the title of this blog you didn’t have any negative feelings whatsoever, right? Evangelism is everyone’s favorite spiritual discipline! If you had said those words to me my freshman year, I would have laughed in your face. When I first came to college, my experience with evangelism was limited to my little private Christian school I went to back home. Sure, I was chaplain my senior year, but looking back I’m not sure if I ever sat down and shared the gospel intentionally with anyone. I was terrified to do that.

 When sitting and thinking about what to share, I thought it was best to be honest. 2015 Taylor made many excuses to not share the gospel.

  1. “It’s the job of missionaries and evangelists to share the gospel.”
  2.  “I don’t know what to say.”
  3.  “I’m not a master in spiritual knowledge/apologetics.”
  4. “I’m scared of people rejecting me.”

I could go on, but those are a few I can remember. Tim Simpson was my college pastor for the first year and a half of college, and he always talked about life on mission. One Tuesday night he told us, “There are people in this room who will go to the nations and people in this room who will send.” And while I believe this truth, I let it become an excuse.

I figured since I was not going to seminary that it was my job as a Christian to focus on my individual walk with the Lord and only that. Fast forward through college, and I began to realize how selfish my excuses were. All the excuses I have, and every excuse you probably have, are rooted in a selfish laziness or self-centered pride. Ouch. Yeah, that hurt to type.

Acts 4:14, 8:4 --- 2 Corinthians 5:17-20 --- 1 Corinthians 2:1-2, 9:19-23. These scriptures changed my perspective of evangelism. Normal humans, like you and me, sharing the gospel. And there isn’t a certain number of 4 syllable words they used to successfully share the gospel. The Holy Spirit is going to change the heart of the lost according to His will. Nothing you say will make that happen, but your OBEDIENCE to share can HELP it to happen. We get to partner with God as we see him bring brothers and sisters home.

People also worry about offending someone. God's Word manifests itself differently in each of us. So, our goal isn't to get others to conform to our cultural standards as proof of their faith. Rather, we are sensitive to their traditions and experiences so that we don’t insult/confuse them before we’ve had a chance to introduce them to Jesus. Faith in Christ is an individual relationship. The way your relationship looks with Jesus isn’t going to look like your neighbor’s.

With the help of Christ, we must build up our confidence and courage for evangelism. Gospel confidence is the fruit of our identity in Christ.  Gospel courage is the action from our identity in Christ.

Read Colossians 4:2–6. Paul hits on the six elements of responsible evangelism:

  1. Pray regularly for opportunities to share the gospel.
  2. Be watching and thankful when opportunities arise.
  3. Pray for opportunities for others to share the gospel clearly.
  4. Be wise about how you treat and converse with non-believers.
  5. Make the most of every opportunity.
  6. Ensure that your conversations are full of grace.                                                                                              

Now, do I do all these things perfectly? Heck no. I am still weak and fall into my excuses at times. There are times where I kick myself because I blew an opportunity the Lord gave me to share his saving message. But that doesn’t mean we give up entirely because we messed up once.

Sharing the gospel is awkward at times. Sometimes it feels like you’re pulling teeth. But then there are times where you see the light bulb go off for someone when they realize there is hope during this pandemic – and amidst everything in this world. No matter what kind of conversation you have or the excuses you say in your heart… Just DO IT.