On one level, evangelism is as simple as one person telling another how they can experience the forgiveness of sin through Jesus Christ. But, if we step back and look at the big picture, the ministry of evangelism can be as multi-faceted and complex as the societies in which we live and the people to whom minister.
Using the Bible as our guide, we will explore the issues we face in evangelism through the lens of seven different components.
GOD: THE MASTER
Master-Defined. We must serve the Master absolutely. A focus on the Master enables us to keep our focus on evangelism as, first and foremost, a work of God. Our evangelism must be built upon the purpose of God, the passion of God, the plan of God, and the power of God. God’s purpose is to bring Himself glory. God’s passion is revealed in His compassion for the those who are “like sheep without a shepherd.” God’s plan is summed up in the Great Commission. God’s power is provided in the person of the Holy Spirit.
THE WORLD: THE MASSES
Masses-Defined. Evangelism is always done in context and is influenced by its context. Each context is unique and influences both the message that is shared and the methods that are used.
We must see the masses clearly—as Jesus saw them, like sheep without a Shepherd. Seeing the masses clearly involves recognizing cultural influences, social involvements, and spiritual powers. The spread of the Gospel almost always moves along relational lines. Understanding and utilizing these relationships will have a significant effect on the spread of the gospel.
BELIEVERS: THE MESSENGERS
Messenger-Defined. God desires to use all believers as his messengers in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with the unbelieving world, but in different ways. God will use any and all, despite their maturity or training, if they are available and in contact with unbelievers.
The messenger must be vitally connected to Christ, and ideally equipped to the point of confidence and competence. The messenger must be committed to communicating the gospel message while realizing that their personal involvement and the involvement of others may vary in methodology and strategy.
THE GOSPEL MESSAGE
Message-Defined. The life-changing message of Jesus never changes. In one sense, the gospel can be reduced to its essential message, a clear and simple statement about Jesus Christ and his work for the salvation of our sins. Yet as the gospel is explored, its depths unfold riches speaking clearly to the whole of the human dilemma.
We must master the message thoroughly. We need to always emphasize clear communication of the essence of the gospel in evangelism. Understanding the essence of the gospel will involve answering the following questions: Who is Jesus? What has He done? Why did He do it? How do we know? How are we to respond? Luke 24:45-48; 1 Cor. 15:1-8
THE MEANS OF COMMUNICATION
We have numerous means available to communicate the unchanging gospel message. Some means are personal and spontaneous. Others are reproduced and transferable. (See Means and Methods below.)
THE RELATIONAL MODES
Modes-Defined. Modes are a possible, preferred or customary way of doing something. The evangelism modes recognize that there are different contexts or approaches by which people come to know the Savior: through the influence of a body of believers, through the influence of a believer or believers with whom they have had a personal relationship, and through the influence of an individual who had contact with them primarily through a ministry outreach. We must expand the modes fully to be truly effective.
MEANS AND METHODS OF COMMUNICATION
Methods-Defined. We have numerous means available to communicate the unchanging gospel message. Some means are personal and spontaneous. Others are reproduced and transferable.
We must choose the means of evangelism carefully and apply the methods skillfully. The means and methods represent the specific strategies within a mode to get the gospel out to the masses. There are several types of means used to communicate the gospel: theological presentations, testimonial presentations, historical presentations, narrative presentations, and conversational presentations. The means and the methods must be sensitive to the spiritual process by thinking according to comprehensive evangelism and whether someone is near or far from the cross.
For the Evangelism Model teaching notes, download the PDF above.
Has God always been concerned about extending His love and forgiveness to all nations and peoples of the earth? Both the Old and New Testaments show God’s offer of grace is to everyone — Jew and Gentile alike.
When you tell your story, it’s God who is responsible for changing people’s hearts. You are simply called to be ready and to share what God has done in your life.
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