3 Key Roles in Evangelism

John 4 reveals that three people are involved in evangelism…the non-believer, the believer, and God. Let’s look at these roles.

The Role of the Non-Believer 

(Your friends, neighbors, relatives, coworkers—the ones with whom we seek to share the gospel.)

The Scriptures describe them this way:
DeadEphesians 2:1-2 – literally a walking corpse
And you He made alive, who were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.

Blinded2 Corinthians 4:3-4 – veiled
But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

Spiritually foolish1 Corinthians 2:14 – unable to discern the spiritual
But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

LostMark 6:34 – without a shepherd
And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd.

Deceived and serving the worldTitus 3:3
For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.

Remember two things: 1) this is how you once were before someone shared the gospel with you, 2) seeing your friends and relatives this way will help you to have compassion on them…not wanting them to stay in this condition.

The Role of God

(He is the One who goes before you, with you, and after you in evangelism.)

The Scriptures describe Him this way:

Draws us to Himself John 6:44
“No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him.”

Giver of new life1 Corinthians 3:6
I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.

Sender of disciplesMatthew 28:18-19
“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations.”

Desires all to be saved1 Timothy 2:3-4
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God, our Savior who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Diligent to convictJohn 16:8
“And when He comes, He will convict the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment.”

Evangelism works because God is intimately involved convicting, pursuing, sending, drawing, and giving. He is the One who has the compassion and is moved to action on behalf of His creation.

The Role of the Believer

(God has given us the privilege of partnering with Him in His eternal work.)

The Scriptures describe you this way:

SaintsColossians 1:2 – We are saints – set apart for His specific work
To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse:

ServantsActs 16:17 – sent by God to proclaim the good news
This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.”

Planter1 Corinthians 3:5 – you are called to plant the seed
Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one?

Waterer1 Corinthians 3:6 – you are to water the seed
I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.

LaborerLuke 10:2 – you are to labor in His field
Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore, pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

WitnessActs 1:8 – you are to tell your story – your eyewitness account
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

DiscerningColossians 4: 5 – using wisdom to take advantage of the opportunities to share Christ
Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.

DependentJohn 6:44 – we bring Christ to the lost – He brings the lost to Christ
“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him…”

We bring Christ to the lost
He brings the lost to Christ

Can you think of anything more exciting than being a partner with Jesus Christ in populating heaven? He wants to use you. The question is, “Are you willing to be used?” He’s ready if you are.

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Dr. R. Larry Moyer is a veteran evangelist and a frequent speaker in evangelistic outreaches, training seminars, churches and universities around the world. Born with an inherited speech defect, Larry vowed to God as a teenager that if He would allow him to gain control of his speech he would always use his voice to declare the gospel. In 1973, Larry founded EvanTell, where he now serves as President and CEO. He has written several books on evangelism and frequently contributes articles to ministry publications.