Have you lost the spark? Do you have a bad case of EMMS (Endless Ministry Meetings Syndrome), and has it doused your fire of desire to reach the lost for Christ? If so, here are three helpful hints that can begin to reignite your passion for evangelism:
1. Read the classics.
No, no, not Shakespeare and Shaw. Try Spurgeon, Whitefield, Wesley, and Moody if you want to get a dose of old school passion for evangelism. Or, better yet, read Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God by Jonathan Edwards. The chills will line your spine and could soak through like Kerosene to your heart. At that point, well, it only takes a spark!
“Wait, wait,” you may be thinking, “Don’t those preachers rant and rave about heaven, hell, judgment day, and all of the stuff that us sophisticated Christians know is irrelevant in the postmodern world?”
Why, yes, they do and, no, it isn’t.
Contrary to what those who exegete culture more than Scripture may tell you, these subjects can be not only compelling to the postmodern mind (we’ll save this subject for another time) but very motivational to the Christian one.
How can you read the words of Spurgeon about hell and not be moved, “If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. Let us wrap our arms around their knees…let no one go to hell unwarned and unprayed for.”
There’s nothing like a dead preacher to give you a living passion to share the gospel. Go to the bookstore, Amazon, or Google and find these sermons and devour them. The words will inject a new/old fire into your bones and you, like Jeremiah, will not be able to contain it.
2. Pray for those you know who don’t know Jesus.
It’s hard to pray for people who are lost without getting lost in emotion over their darkened souls. It could be an uncle, neighbor, co-worker, classmate, or friend. Whoever it is, plead to God on behalf of unregenerate hearts daily. Beg Him to save them. As you do, your heart will learn to beat in redemptive rhythm with the Father’s. You will begin to feel for them as He does. Soon your prayer will echo Paul’s for the Israelites in Romans 10:1, “My heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.”
3. Start sharing your faith.
As one expert put it, “Emotion follows motion.” When you start obeying the command of Christ to preach the gospel (motion), then you will begin to gain the heart of Christ as you do (emotion.)
How do you share this simple message? Just remember the cross and take them to it. As you walk them down your verbal Via Dolorosa, you can explain why Jesus had to drag his cross along that same path to suffer in our place for our sins. You can point them to Golgotha, the Place of the Skull, where Christ’s skull was capped with a thorny crown and His holy hands were nailed to a rugged piece of wood. As you explain all of this, your heart, if it is truly filled with the Spirit, can’t help but be engulfed in the holy flames of renewed, redemptive zeal.
But don’t leave your friend at the foot of the cross just to gaze at a corpse. Take them to the empty tomb. Let their heart and yours be filled with the reality that Jesus has arisen and has made his abode in the souls of those who simply trust in Him alone to save them. You will realize, as you explain these truths to your unreached friend, that this same Jesus, who died for your sins, was buried, and rose again, has committed arson in your soul.
You will find yourself ablaze once again.
Burn! Burn! Burn!