There are over 2 billion self identified Christians worldwide, one third of the world’s population. Yet surprisingly, even given these numbers, one of the most underdeveloped parts of being a member of the Christian faith pertains to evangelism. Evangelism dates back to the apostles. Early Christian leaders would travel from town to town proclaiming the good works of Jesus to Jews and Gentiles alike and in doing so, Christianity began to spread worldwide. Evangelism thereafter became a specific calling and throughout history, men and women with the gift have made a dynamic and successful profession of being called by God to itinerantly preach the gospel.
The evangelism of Christianity has been amazingly effective for the last two thousand plus years. However, in a sense the professionalization of evangelism has let us off the hook in that most of us leave relaying the gospel of Christ to the pros. While I certainly don’t want to diminish the demonstrately effective work of professional evangelists, I often wonder if we as Christians shouldn’t shoulder more of the responsibility of sharing the good news of Jesus.
If you are like me, you have had many occasions to spread the word, but for one reason or another haven’t done so. Perhaps the timing didn’t seem right, maybe you didn’t know the person well enough or even were worried about what people might think. I have been guilty of all three.
The point is that each time we pass up an opportunity to evangelize, we also pass up the opportunity to give someone the greatest gift–their own relationship with Christ–a relationship that will guide them when they are troubled, that will comfort their sorrow, and give them peace and direction in their life. Moreover, we can’t underestimate the impact of personal testimony. Our stories are the most poignant because they are the most real.
We are proud to be Christians, but think of the impact we could have if we also mustered the courage to evangelize. We each have the ability to reach someone, we each have something special to offer others and God. There is still much need in the world and the gift of Christ is the answer. Let’s help spread the good word!