by Emma Aly
In Mark 16:15, Jesus calls believers to “go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation.” Growing up in the church, I have heard this verse preached more times than I can count. Even with knowledge of this often taught scripture and heavy involvement in the church, I have rarely seen this put into action. Admittedly, I have rarely, if ever, acted on it.
Each time I heard this preached, I would sit in the pew and think, “Of course we have to share our faith with others, but that is not my job. I’ll let someone more comfortable or strong in their faith do that.” I venture to guess that this may be a thought had by others in the Christian faith.
Before I go any further with this, I want to admit that this is as much a challenge for me as it may be for you. I hope as you read this you understand that evangelism does not come easily to me and I am still learning how to do this myself. These are simply thoughts I have had that have spurred me to action and may do the same for you. As I write this, I will likely use an ambiguous “we.” This will refer to myself, but I hope that you may also be able to identify with some of it.
On our recent trip to Honduras, we were joined by Steve and Auggie. Steve and Auggie work with a group called E3. According to the E3 partners website, their mission is to “equip God’s people to evangelize His world by establishing healthy, multiplying, transformative churches everywhere.”
While in the country, Steve and Auggie taught our group several tools that could be used to evangelize. We practiced these, and some of our group were able to use them in the villages we visited, which led to six baptisms in our five days in Honduras.
Witnessing these commitments to God made me realize how important evangelism is. This revelation may seem common sense, but sometimes, I think we can lose sight of the real goal of our faith. We must love God and love others and follow His commands.
Jesus says in Matthew 28:19-20, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
Rereading this verse after experiencing effective evangelism first hand was very convicting for me. He does not say “do this if you are well spoken” or “do this if you are the model Christian.” There are no conditionals in his statement.
During one of the morning devotionals on our trip, Grace, the graphic design intern with The Bucket Ministry, shared with us a quote from Penn of the magician duo Penn & Teller,
“I’ve always said that I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe that there’s a heaven and a hell, and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life, and you think that it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward—and atheists who think people shouldn’t proselytize and who say just leave me alone and keep your religion to yourself—how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that? I mean, if I believed, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that a truck was coming at you, and you didn’t believe that truck was bearing down on you, there is a certain point where I tackle you. And this is more important than that.”
Penn is a well known atheist, yet his words about religion are powerful. Sharing our belief in Christ with those around us should be a top priority in our lives. If we are not, we are not loving people as Christ did.
As Christians, we must take action and share our faith. If we truly love God and truly love others, we should want to lead everyone to Christ. I want to challenge each of us to share our faith with one person this week. It could be a coworker, a family member or someone you do not know. Together, let’s practice evangelism. Let us be workers for the harvest.
Matthew 9:37-38 – “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”