Evangelizing unbelievers can be difficult for the same reason criminals struggle to find policemen … most are not looking for one.
Instead of pursuing others with the gospel, we are cocooned with those who already know it. A vortex pulls us into Christian activities and lulls us toward indifference to those yet to repent.
Genuinely drawing near to Christ will rightly submerse us in believers’ fellowship, but it will simultaneously thrust us toward others in gospel ministry. Heavily evangelistic churches become that way as individual believers are passionate and proactive in daily life. They implement the faithful exposition of Scripture and are propelled out to reach sinners for Christ.
The Great Commission is an individual commission, and it is not fulfilled in silence, but in conversations that confront ungodliness and unrighteousness with the kindness of God that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4). Day by day, we look for points of intersection, where the “salt and light” will collide with decay and darkness.
Transforming hearts forge evangelistic instincts, and here are four ways to prepare those instincts:
1. Spring load the gospel.
This isn’t complicated: If you’re saved, you know enough of the gospel to present it to someone else.
However, it takes work to be clear and understandable. Memorize key passages of scripture that you can use to explain the gospel to others.
You may not always hold your Bible in hand when an evangelistic opportunity presents itself, so spring load the gospel message in mind. Be alert and stay ready!
2. Live well.
Live with integrity. Peter wrote “Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation” (1 Peter 2:12).
Live so that when your name crosses the mind of unbelievers, they associate you with Jesus. The most clear and accurate gospel presentation is muted if unbelievers identify you by patterns of sin (anger, lust, gossip, laziness) instead of patterns of righteousness (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self- control).
In humility, repent when you sin, and use even your failures to magnify God’s mercy. Christlike humility and holiness should distinguish you from the world. Keep in mind that your example may be the first expose many receive to the transforming power of the gospel.