Evangelism: Event or Lifestyle?

JP: Good read by Jesse Johnson.

Evangelism: Event or Lifestyle?


There are many misunderstandings about the nature of true evangelism. Many people don’t evangelize because when they think of evangelism, they think of the overzealous man on the street corner with the bullhorn. They think, “I’m not called to do that.” From there it’s a short leap to, “So I’m not called to evangelize.”

But the most effective kind of evangelism is often not done from street corners. Proclaiming the gospel does not involve a sign around your neck, or a bullhorn in your hand. Effective, winsome evangelism can take place with people you already know—your neighbors, your family, and your coworkers. Think of the names of nonbelievers you cross paths with; those people are your mission field.

For Jesus, evangelism was a way of life. When He crossed paths with people, He seized the opportunities to preach repentance and the forgiveness of sins. In fact, much of Jesus’ evangelism took place in conversations with individuals. Consider the woman at the well (John 4), the rich young ruler (Luke 18), and Zacchaeus (Luke 19).

Evangelism in the book of Acts follows Jesus’ example. Peter, Stephen, and Paul did not stand on street corners and shout. Instead they seized whatever opportunities God gave them, and implored people to be reconciled to God. There are at least 15 examples in the book of Acts of Christians going about their daily activity, and then getting involved in evangelistic conversations with individuals with whom they came in contact.

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