Evangelism is a quirky word. Of course, there is a primary definition derived from the Greek and meaning “messenger," approximately. The four New Testament gospels are named the Evangelisms of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The “good news” and the “gospel” are also ways of saying it. The Gospels are evangelism in written form. What you say and do as a Christian in your relations with other people may be your evangelism. Your support of the church in its outreach is another form of evangelism.
In our time, evangelism includes many social and cultural connotations that have nothing to do with the good news of Jesus, the Messiah. Various individuals and organizations have appropriated the term to mean anything from commercial advertising to political indoctrination. Propaganda is a form of secular or political evangelism.
If you are a Christian and a believer in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus on your behalf, you are a beneficiary of the good news of Jesus. Someone presented that good news to you in some way. Many of us heard it from our mama. Others heard it from a Sunday school teacher or a youth minister or preacher. Lots of us heard from all of these and more.
A few of us heard it in a different way altogether. We didn’t seek it out. It came to us from a co-worker or a friend who was so full of the Spirit of Jesus Christ that the good news overflowed onto us. Their joy was the result of their very personal sense of salvation. They would say they were saved from addiction or crime or despair over their marriage failures or careers.
Once I had a friend who was disgusted that a rock star he admired had said Jesus saved him from his drug addiction. I told my friend that I didn’t see how I could live without drugs if I didn’t have Jesus. He said he never thought of that. I explained that it is hard, maybe impossible, to live without a supreme helper. He knew about AA, so I explained that Jesus is the higher power on whom I rely. We encounter people every day who need Jesus. They have a world of troubles. You do too, but you take your problems to the Lord. Share that process with your friends. Tell them about your prayers. I know it’s personal and embarrassing to reveal your weaknesses to others. It takes courage. But you are a child of God, redeemed and preserved to serve him in this way.
This good news is a gift of priceless worth. If someone you know accepts the good news of Jesus from you, it will be the most valuable gift they ever receive. Angels will rejoice in heaven over your generosity and over the gift of one soul that you have led to salvation!
Dear Father, You know our weaknesses and our shortcomings. You know our limitations. We are not all theologians and evangelists. We are mostly just children with friends who need help. Will you give us the courage we need to tell our friends about Jesus, how He reached out to us and touched our hearts? Jesus taught us the joy of salvation, the redemption from sin. Thank you for sending Jesus to us through our parents, our teachers, our ministers, and our friends, true friends. In His name, Amen!