When talking with
Christians about the importance of Evangelism, one of the most
frequent arguments against it I hear is "Evangelism is not my gift."
It is true that Evangelism is a spiritual gift that not all
Christians have, but the gift of Evangelism is not preaching the
Gospel. What is it then? The Apostle Paul explains what the purpose
of the gift of Evangelism is in
"And He gave some as apostles,
and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as
Pastors and Teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of
service, to the building up of the body of Christ."
A person who has the gift of
Evangelism is a person like myself who is called to motivate and
train Christian Laymen to preach the Gospel. But wait a minute, is
this not also the calling and the responsibilities of Apostles,
Prophets, Pastors and Teachers according to this passage of
Scripture? You see preaching the Gospel is not a gift, but the
responsibility of all born again Christians. In fact all ministerial
gifts are primarily for the purpose of equipping Christian Layman to
preach the Gospel and for training to minister to one another. I
received Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord in December of 1969.
Soon afterwards the Lord dealt with me as a believer about my
responsibility to share the Gospel with men. The end result was I
went through a Training Program in Evangelism taught by Campus
Crusade for Christ, which specializes in training Christian
Layman in how to share their faith with others. After eight years of
faithfully weekly going out and sharing my faith with others, the
Lord came to me in my spirit and said to me in
"Well done good and faithful servant. Because you have been faithful
in little I am going to put you in charge of much: You are an
Evangelist, Overseer Teacher." After preaching the Gospel faithfully
for eight years, Jesus then gave me the gift of Evangelism. Why? So
I could motivate and train Christian Layman
in how to share the Gospel
with others. This Textbook, along with all the other books on
motivating and training in Evangelism I have written, is a
demonstration of the gift of Evangelism, but the responsibility of
Evangelizing is the responsibility of all Christians.
If you are a Minister and if
you are carrying the burden of preaching the Gospel alone, you are
fulfilling your responsibility as a Christian to preach the Gospel,
but you are not fulfilling your calling as a Minister which is to
train and motivate Christian Laymen to preach the Gospel. Doing the
work of Evangelism is the responsibility of every born again
Christian, but ministerial gifts are not given by God for the
preaching of the Gospel, but for equipping Godís people to do the
work of Evangelism. How do I know? Because I am an Evangelist and I
have the gift of Evangelism and this book is an exercise of that
gift which is to motivate and equip you a Christian to get involved
in preaching the Gospel to men.
Since the day I learned how to
effectively share my Christian faith with others, forty-three years
ago, which was about eight months after I came to know Jesus, I have
regularly aggressively shared my faith with others. However, when
talking to Christians about the importance of going through a
training program in Evangelism so that they can get actively
involved in aggressive planned Evangelism, I will receive one of
several arguments: One of these is the following: "I believe in
friendship Evangelism." Concerning this argument, I agree that when
in a job situation or in school or the home, as the Lord gives us
opportunity, we should share Jesus Christ with men. Dr. Bill Bright
in his book, How You Can Be a Fruitful Witness, stated,
"Whenever I am alone with a person for a few minutes, I assume that
I am there by divine appointment to share the good news of Godís
love and forgiveness."56/31 Jesus said that if we were
ashamed of Him before men, He would be ashamed of us before His
Father and the Holy Angles. Therefore, Jesus wants us to take
advantage of whatever opportunity we have to share
His love and forgiveness with men. For this reason this is an
important aspect of witnessing our faith with others, but as I will
show later it is not the kind of Evangelism that Jesus specifically
commanded us to do in the Bible.
Another argument I hear
frequently against aggressive planned Evangelism is "I do not feel
led of the Holy Spirit to do so." Many of these people have been
telling me this for years. I believe in Holy Spirit led Evangelism
also. But what I mean by the leading of the Holy Spirit and what my
brethren in Christ mean by this are two different things. What they
mean by the leading of the Holy Spirit in Evangelism is being
involved in Evangelism period. That isnít what I mean by being led
of the Holy Spirit in Evangelism. Let me explain.
If by the leading of the Holy
Spirit Christians mean waiting for the command to go and share their
faith with others, let the Christian know and understand that Jesus
and the Holy Spirit have already given this command. Jesus said in
"All authority has
been given to me in heaven and on earth.
Make disciples of all the nations."
In this passage Jesus
tells us that all authority has been given to Him in heaven and on
earth. Because this is true and because He lives in us, He tells us
GO THEREFORE! Jesus
is saying, "All authority in the physical and spiritual realm have
been given to Me. Because this is true, you no longer need to wait
for My command to go. My command is
As you go, I will be there with you and will guide you and help you
succeed and overcome whatever obstacles you might encounter."
The Apostles Peter
and Paul tell us that all Scripture is inspired by the Holy Spirit
of God.39 In other words these men wrote the Bible under
the inspiration of God through the Holy Spirit. By the Holy Spiritís
leading Matthew wrote that Jesus said all authority has been given
to Him by the Father and that for this reason we are not to wait for
further instructions from the Holy Spirit to get involved in
Evangelism, but rather we are to
The leading of the Holy
Spirit to get involved in Evangelism is an ever present now
The Apostle Paul put it this way in
2 Corinthians 6:1-2,
"And working together
with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in
vainófor He says, ĎAt the acceptable time I listened to you, and on
the day of salvation I helped youí;
is Ďthe acceptable time,í
is ĎThe day of salvation.í"
Other Christians pose
the argument this way, they will say, "In our Church we feel that
Evangelizing our community at this time is not right. Our community
is not ripe yet for Evangelism." What does Jesus and the leading of
the Holy Spirit through the writer John say about this argument?
"Do you not say, "There are yet four months, and then comes the
harvestí? Behold, I say to you lift up your eyes and look on
the fields, that they are white for harvest. Already he who
Reaps is receiving wages, and is gathering fruit for life eternal;
that he who Sows and he who Reaps may rejoice together. For in this
case the saying is true, ĎOne Sows, and another Reaps.í"
Jesus asks us in this passage,
"Are you saying you need to wait until your conmunity is ripe? You
are wrong. I say to you look out on your community and see that it
is ripe for Evangelism now!" To help the reader, Jesus goes on to
explain what he means by Evangelism and ripe for Evangelism.
He explains that not all Christians are called to be Reapers but
all Christians are called to be Sowers.
What is the difference between
a Sower and a Reaper? In farming terms, the Sower is the farmer. The
farmer goes out and plants the seed, waters and fertilizes the
ground and weeds the ground. Who does the reaping? Hired labor. Is
not an Evangelist someone who is hired to Reap where he did not Sow?
Your community may not always be ready for an anointed
Evangelist, but your community is always ripe to be Evangelized.
Not all Christians are called to be Evangelists, but all
Christians are called to do Evangelism. If you are not called
specifically to be an Evangelist, you along with all other
Christians are called to do Evangelism. You are called to be a
farmer. You are called to Sow, water, fertilize and weed. You are
called to go and plant the seed of the Word into the hearts of men.
You are called to prepare the ground for the Evangelist. The command
to do this has already been given. You do not need to wait for the
leading of the Holy Spirit. Jesus has commanded you and I to
THEREFORE! Behold the fields are
WHITE for harvest!
Part of the problem of getting Christians
involved in aggressive Evangelism is that unless they can be
guaranteed to reap a harvest every time they go out, they get
discouraged and wonít continue. That would be like a farmer saying
that unless he can have a harvest now, he wonít sow seed, water,
fertilize and weed his field. If the farmer refused to sow seed and
then water, fertilize and weed his field, there would never be a
crop for the Reapers to harvest. If Christians do not Sow the
seed of the Word and then water, fertilize and weed the field, there
wonít be a harvest when the Reaper comes. Solomon wrote in
11:4 "He who watches the wind
will not sow and he who looks at the clouds will not reap."
Which takes more
time: sowing, watering, fertilizing and weeding or Reaping? The
sowing and nurturing of the ground of course. The harvest comes at
the end of the year and is over as quickly as it comes, but only
after several months of sowing, watering, fertilizing and weeding.
The same is true in Evangelism. There are long periods that when I
go out and share the Gospel with men that I see no conversions at
all. But then a harvest comes. This happened to me one time while
doing regular college Evangelism. For several weeks I did not see
any fruit. Then one day Jesus said to me, "It is time for a
harvest!" The following week I led six college students to Christ.
Josh McDowell is one of my greatest heroes in the faith and one of
the greatest Evangelists of our time, but I heard him share once
that even in his ministry there are times that he goes through long
periods without seeing any conversions either. He shared that once
he shared with more than thirty-six individual people the Gospel
before someone prayed and received Christ. If your Church is
going out and sharing the Gospel regularly, but you are not seeing
any present results, donít get discouraged. You are not abnormal.
You are not striving or producing flesh. You are sowing, watering,
fertilizing and weeding. But what does the
"And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall
reap if we do not grow weary." The Scripture commands us to not
become weary in well doing. Why? Because in due season you will reap
Who is more important: The
farmer or the Reaper? In Evangelistic terminology, who is more
important: The Sower or the Evangelist? The Sower of course. The
Sower is the one who has prepared the ground, planted the seed of
Godís word, fertilized it, weeded it, watered it and nurtured it.38
The farmer is the one who gets the blue ribbon at the fair, not the
Reaper. The Sower is the more important factor. But what does Jesus
say about the Reaper? Jesus says about the Evangelist, "I sent you
to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored,
and you have entered into their labor." Jesus tells us that the
Evangelist is the least important factor who Reaps where he did not
Sow or labor.
Brother and sister, if
you are not called to be a Reaper, then Jesus has called you to be a
Sower and the command is to
The command to go has already been given. If you are a Sower, Jesus
says do not minimize your importance. Jesus says you are more
important than the Reaper.
So what do I mean when I say I
believe in the leading of the Holy Spirit in Evangelism? I do not
mean, "Does Jesus want me to go?" That is already commanded to all
of us in His Word. I mean, "Jesus, where do you want me to go and
how much time in my week do you want me to spend in Evangelism in
relation to the other responsibilities and callings you have given
me." This is an important prayer because Jesus is Lord and we want
to obey His leading in our lives in the use of our time during the
week. It is not whether He wants us to make time for Evangelism, but
rather when during the week He want us to do Evangelism. That is
Holy Spirit led Evangelism, not whether He wants us to go or not go.
There are times like now in my
life, because I am called to do Pastoral work, that Jesus has given
me specific commands about my involvement in Evangelism; but there
have been times in the past when I wasnít getting any specific
direction. In those times when I would make a schedule to complete
the then present responsibilities Jesus was giving me, I would make
sure I put two to four hours in there some place for the specific
purpose of going out and sharing my faith with others. I would do
this not as a matter of salvation, but out of a motivation of love
and because I love Jesus and this is what he wants me as a child of
God to do. I would do and still do this unless Jesus gives me
specific direction in Evangelism to do otherwise.
I tell you solemnly that
unless all Christians get involved in regular weekly aggressive
Evangelism, the lost in this country will not be reached and America
will never be turned around. Making more laws and increasing the
police force will not turn the country around. Ask Russia. They had
more laws and the majority of their money went to police action. It
did not deter crime or any other societal problems in the least.
Only the Word of God can change a personís heart and turn man
around, nothing else will. There is only one way that Godís Word
gets into the hearts of men: when all believers take time in their
weeks to go out and share the Word of God with men. Aggressive
community planned Layman Evangelism is not an option, it is an
absolute necessity to bring America back to God. Nothing else will.
What should you do? If
you have not been trained in Evangelism, the first thing you need to
do is go through a training program in Evangelism like this one.
Experience the ministry Gift of Evangelism for yourself.
this Section of the Textbook explain why a training program like
this one is so important. One of the values of a training program
like this one is that you learn from the experiences of others what
to do and what not to do and how to share the Gospel successfully
and in love. In this training program you also learn what the Gospel
is and how to properly disciple a person when they receive Jesus so
they can grow in Him. In this Training Program of Evangelism you
also learn how to deal with tough questions you might encounter on
the field. explain the importance of a Training Program in
Evangelism, what the necessary ingredients of an Evangelism
Training Program are to become successful in Evangelism and how this
Textbook more than fulfills these requirements.
Once you receive training, the
second step is to then pray and ask Jesus if there is any specific
way he wants you to apply your training. If Jesus does not give you
any specific direction after a reasonable period of time, He is then
telling you that He is leaving it up to you to decide how and in
what capacity to be involved in Evangelism and continue this until
Jesus gives you a specific command in your involvement in
But as to whether Jesus wants
you involved in regular ongoing aggressive Evangelism now or at all,
that question has already been answered: "All authority has been
given to Me in heaven and on earth.
and make disciples of all the nations... the fields are white for
harvest." Now lets go on to
and discuss what
is involved in bringing a person to Jesus Christ and why it is so
important that you involve yourself in this process.
Bibliography & Notes
Section 1 Chapters