Evangelism is one of those Christian words we throw around so easily and casually. I personally don’t like the word. “Go evangelize!” It kind of freaks me out. I envision myself standing on a street corner wearing a sandwich board while holding a megaphone shouting, “Sinner!” at the top of my lungs. Not a pretty picture. Not a loving picture. Not a picture I’d ever like to see.
But somewhere between street corner evangelism and Christ’s command to go out and make disciples, we have lost the true meaning of evangelism. We have replaced what should be sharing the Good News with a somewhat sad and pathetic alternative. Instead of actually sharing the Gospel, we do something else, and hope that it is enough.
What is it we do instead of actually evangelizing?
We invite people to church and call it a day.
“Hi. I go to church at North Church of Some City on Sundays at 10:00 a.m. I wanted to invite you.” Done and done. Check that off my list.
Somehow, we think that the proverbial church invite gets us off the evangelism hook, so to speak. That becomes the extent of our evangelism—a church invite? Hmm…somehow, I don’t think that’s what Jesus had in mind when He said, “Go and make disciples.”
We hear pastors preach this message from the pulpit. They tell us to bring a friend, invite a neighbor, give out an informational card for the next upcoming holiday event. These things in and of themselves aren’t bad. We should be inviting neighbors, friends, and family to church, but it is not evangelism. It is perhaps one portion, one small portion, of sharing the Gospel, but that’s all.