**Note: This post has nothing to do with this year’s theme of the Christian School I am employed with but only what I am learning in my seminary class. **
In my last post, “What Is Evangelism?”, I discussed how evangelism is not “mere presence”. I also discussed how Francis of Assisi is misquoted by saying that we are to share the gospel and use words if necessary. The methodologies are not evangelism as evangelism is a message that has to be shared verbally.
In on of the books I am reading, Tell the Truth: The Whole Gospel Wholly by Grace Communicated Truthfully & Lovingly, one of the quotes that really stuck out to me was the following:
The content of our message is Christ and God, not our journey to faith. Our personal testimony may be included, but witnessing is more than reciting our spiritual autobiography. Specific truths about a specific person are the subject of our proclamation. A message has been committed to us–a word of reconciliation to the world (2 Cor 5:19).
He goes on to quote Kenneth Prior who wrote The Gospel in a Pagan Society :
It is worth noting that the New Testament Christians never attempted to establish the truth of Christianity on their inward experience… To put it another way, we never find Paul trying to prove the truth of Christianity to others “because of the difference it has made in my life.”
This is not to say that one cannot use a good story to introduce the gospel but a good gage on whether or not a story is evangelistic or not are these two questions:
“How much did I learn about Christ?” versus “How much did I learn about the speaker?”
This is helpful for me because I want my main goal for any time I evangelize is to draw people into the glory of God and out of our sinful nature. I’ll end with Martin Lloyd-Jones’ foundational principles for evangelism:
- The supreme object of the work of evangelism is to glorify God, not to save souls.
- The only power that can do this work is the Holy Spirit, not our own strength.
- The one and only medium through which the Spirit works is the Scriptures; therefore, we “reason out of Scriptures” like Paul did.
- These preceding principles give us the true motivation for evangelism–a zeal for God and a love for others.
- There is a constant danger of heresy through a false zeal and employment of unscriptural methods.
(These come from his book, “The Presentation of the Gospel”).