Those were the 2 words that would send shivers down my spine whenever I heard them, both as a kid and as a young person.
I’m okay with the idea of evangelism, after all, it’s part of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20). But street evangelism, in my mind, was a whole different ball game. Street evangelism made me feel like a salesman, as if I was “earning” my commission from God through every salvation garnered (which most of the time never happened).
I personally shy away from people who try to sell me anything on the street, like insurance agents or people offering me discounts at a new restaurant that just opened. So I really could empathise with the people who shunned me when I approached them on the streets.
But I only recently realised that I had street evangelism all wrong.
I always thought I needed to get something out of a street evangelism experience in order to feel like I did my job well. I would judge each session with whether I “got” a salvation, an accepted invitation, a healing or just led someone to have a heightened interest in who Jesus is.
My thought process was that as long as there was a visible change in that person’s life – that was an indication from God that I did a great job. I never verbalised this thought, but that was what I felt deep down.
There must be a point in our lives where we are able to proclaim to people what Christ has done for all of us.
I feared stepping out not because I was scared to talk to strangers – but more because I feared failure. I feared what the person I was evangelising to would think if a miracle didn’t happen. I feared if he didn’t accept Christ. I feared she would think I’m a weirdo and drift even further away from Christ.
What I didn’t see, was that in the process of trying to lead people to Christ, I had made street evangelism all about me. I became unwilling to sacrifice my pride, even if it meant someone would be saved. It was easier not to evangelise at all.
But, in time, I was reminded of the price that Christ paid on the cross.
He gave everything. So what did I really have to “lose” in comparison? My pride means nothing.
There must be a point in our lives where we are able to proclaim to people what Christ has done for all of us. Otherwise, are we only content to know the Good News, but not share it with the world?
The Greek word for “Gospel” is euangélion, which directly translates as “a reward for the good news”.
So sharing the Gospel is not just something all Christians are called to do – it is a “reward” that we even get to share the Good News to those around us. The Gospel is our infinite privilege through Christ!
“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”” (Matthew 28:18-20)
Evangelism is not about us. It’s about God and what He has called us to do. In light of that, all that’s left to do is obey.