By Leah Knowling
Recently I read an article on evangelism which stated that all evangelism should be done through the church. Now while much of the rest of the article was good, I believe this statement can cause some confusion.
The implication, in this article at least, is that evangelism should only be done by bringing an unsaved or unchurched person to a church or a small group setting, so that others can preach the Gospel to them and see them saved.
This sets up an unhealthy precedence that implies that only the pastor or small group leader are qualified to share the Gospel. It also implies that the unsaved are to come to us, rather than the church go to them.
So what does scripture have to say on this subject? Jesus commanded (not suggested) his disciples to GO therefore and make disciples
(Matthew 28:19, Emphasis added). This means we, as His disciples are to GO, that is go out.
Again, in Luke, Jesus said to Pray therefore to the Lord of the Harvest to THRUST FORTH labourers into the harvest field. If that is how Jesus instructed us to pray, then it is obvious that His and the Fathers will is that labourers be THRUST FORTH into the harvest field.
Thrusting forth indicates a forward action from somewhere to somewhere. In this case, we, His disciples,
Are to be thrust forth from the often comfortable environment of the church (in context, meaning the structure or building, not the body of Christ) into the harvest field, where the lost reside.
Often this is called Market Place Evangelism. I am not wanting to endorse particular terminology, as the market place is not just where you work or play, but should mean wherever you interact with non-Christians, however long or short that interaction is. However, it is safe to say that the Market Place in the broad sense of the term is and should be where our evangelism efforts are done.
Afterward, we certainly should invite them to church or a small group, but this should come after we have already shared the Gospel with them in some form.
Jesus put the responsibility of preaching the Gospel to the lost on the shoulders of every believer, not just those in the 5-fold ministry.
Many times people will say someone is an Evangelist because they have a great testimony and are outgoing. However, scripture defines an Evangelist, as seen in Ephesians 4:12,13, as an office of the church that along with the other four (Apostle, Prophet, Pastor and Teacher) are there to prepare Gods people for works of service.. So an Evangelist is actually someone who not only does the work of evangelizing, but equips others to do the same.
And who does this passage say is to do the works of service? It is Gods people the body of Christ you and me.
So, next time you are standing in a line-up, ask the Lord to give you courage and an open door and then initiate a conversation with the person near you. Then, deliberately bring up the subject of God, church or spiritual matters. A good Gospel tract can help with this to turn the conversation to God and spiritual mattes, and is also useful to just leave with them if time is limited.
Pray for opportunities to speak to someone, then actively look for them as you go about your day. You will be amazed where God will direct you if you let Him.
Shop assistants and sales people, Motel or Caravan Park workers (when youre on holiday), or someone just sitting on a park bench are all good opportunities to share the Gospel.
Open your eyes and look at the field! They are ripe for harvest(John 4:35). May the Lord thrust us all out into the harvest field.
(Posted with permission from
Soldiers of the Cross/Australia