Pastor’s eNote: The Dreaded “E Word”

a.k.a. Pointing People to Faith

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” ~ Mark 16:15

I’m not sure how the word Evangelism became scary.  Probably the same way so many things do.   Somewhere along the line, people corrupted the true nature of evangelists based on one or two bad examples which then became the rule rather than the exception.   But it’s not a scary word at all.

Merriam-Webster defines evangelism as follows:

  1. : the winning or revival of personal commitments to Christ
  2. : militant or crusading zeal

Although the words “militant” and “crusading” can seem daunting, they refer to consistent, ongoing discipline.  Still, when you say the word some committed believers wrinkle up their noses and conger images of sandwich sign wearing folks walking up and down streets shouting “Repent!  The end is near!”  Or someone at their door, usually at dinner time, to convince you that their way of believing is the only way and yours is bunk.  Well, I’m here to tell you, that is not what Matthew 28 evangelism looks like.

You and I are evangelists!  Don’t get out your sandwich sign yet.

Evangelism is carefree faith sharing.  That’s it.  No bells, no whistles.  No big fancy hoops to jump through.  We are placed where we are for a purpose.  The people around us, the ones we are in contact with frequently or even infrequently, are the ones we are most likely meant to evangelize.  That’s the verb form that Merriam-Webster defines as:

  1. : to preach the gospel to
  2. : to convert to Christianity

Sounds like a HUGE responsibility when you see “preach” and “convert”.  Take heart.  It’s carefree faith sharing.  We’ve heard the word Evangelism a lot lately following the passing of the greatest evangelist of our time, Billy Graham.   Even though most people I know who were touched by his ministry never actually went to a crusade, they got to know Brother Graham through radio or tv and listened intently to the inspirational stories not only from the Bible but the real-life stories Billy Graham would share in his teaching about how the Word of God changed people and changed lives which changed outcomes.  His words were genuine, about real people and real situations.  None of the stories contradicted his lifestyle.

How do you bring out your inner evangelist?  Start with relationships.  Get to know the people in your sphere of influence.  Talk about what matters to you.  Get to know what matters to them.  Share what’s been most helpful to you about your faith when it makes sense to do so.  Be authentic and genuine in conversation, just be you.  You’d be surprised how inspiring your own life stories can be when you approach this carefree faith sharing as something you get to do rather than something you have to do.

With hands to the plow,

Pastor Theresa


Coming to a sanctuary near you …

Starting April 22nd, Pastor Theresa offers a worship series based on Alvin L. Reed’s book Sharing Jesus {Without Freaking Out}

The series is called “So Called Evangelist” and will offer teaching that will make carefree faith sharing easier than you ever thought possible!  Invite a friend to church by sharing this page with them.  You ARE so called.

Topics include:

It’s Not Complicated  ~  God is Not Mad at You  ~  Easier Than That

Conductor, Not the Source  ~  Start the Conversation

Let Them Help You  ~  More Than Words

Go Make Friends, Not Appointments

And nowthe Skit Guys prepare you (sort of) for what’s in store…