There are remarkably gifted people God uses to reach hundreds of lost souls for Christ. We marvel at their wonderful speaking ability, leadership skills, and passion for reaching the world with the gospel.
We stand back in awe of how God uses men and women to proclaim the gospel and wonder what it’s like to be used in the same way.
Is proclaiming the gospel about applying certain techniques and programs? What separates successful evangelists from others? What do they do that allows them to reach hundreds if not thousands for Christ?
What can a Christian glean from men and women God is using to share the gospel of Jesus Christ? The answers may surprise you.
“These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.” (Mark 10:40)
There are evangelism techniques, programs, and messages that Christians can strive to emulate from successful evangelists. But that doesn’t guarantee success. When you read articles or visit with many of them personally, you discover how quickly they give credit to God.
The Bible teaches that God “gave” to certain people the gift of evangelism to build up the church (Eph. 4:11). We marvel and rejoice at these gifts as one who has the gift of music. Most believers like myself do not have the gift of evangelism, but we are not excused from the work of evangelism (2 Tim. 4:5). God commissions all believers to go, teach, and baptize (Matthew 28:19-20).
The challenge Christians face is that they have a tendency to be influenced by the world on how they define “success” rather than the biblical definition. When a person does not come to faith as a result of our proclamation of the gospel, we believe that we are unsuccessful. We naturally become discouraged and blame ourselves.
Numerical success is strictly God’s business. The miracle of faith is evidence of God’s hand at work. It is something that only He can cause. The yeast of comparison freezes our biblical understanding of evangelism by looking at our own inabilities instead of God’s capabilities through us.
You may be surprised to learn that to be a successful evangelists is not all about incorporating good ideas, initiating programs and or learning techniques. It is about manifesting the power of the Holy Spirit that emphasizes the spiritual gifts God has given to each of us, clarifying our identity in Christ, and remaining in His presence through the power of His Word.
In the strictest sense, the New Testament utilizes the word “Evangelism” to mean announce, tell, proclaim, to be a messenger of good news. I have been a full-time evangelist for eighteen years and have observed God’s hand in the miracle of faith and have seen the stubborn resistance of unbelief. Either way, the gospel of God’s grace was successfully proclaimed.
With this Biblical understating, I believe these are twelve things that successful evangelists do:
Love Successful evangelists speak the truth that is prompted by love and concern for the soul.
Joy Evangelists reflect the gospel light in their own lives that attracts unbelievers.
Peace Evangelists find their identity in Christ that washes away guilt.
Patience Evangelists understands the fruit of patience ripens into persistence by keeping God’s timetable and not our own.
Kindness Evangelists sacrifice acts of kindness and generosity with no strings attached.
Self-control Evangelists resist the need to win the argument and focus on winning the soul.
Goodness Evangelists consistently extend grace to those who are least deserving.
Gentleness Evangelists express humility and give all credit and glory to God.
Pray continually Evangelists give thanks in all circumstances and reflects this pattern in an ongoing prayer life.
Perseverance Evangelists never, never, never give up.
Faithfulness Evangelists rely on God’s faithfulness to renew their own faithfulness by regularly reading, studying, and praying over God’s Word.
Jesus’ last words recorded in the Gospel of Matthew before He ascended into heaven is the promise that He is always with us. His presence is in His Word and He gives us the startling promise that He will be with us to go, teach, make disciples, and baptize in His name.
Capturing these promises in Christ, we bear the fruit of His Spirit within us. We point and proclaim to the power of His Word. That is being a successful evangelist!