Living a Life Worthy of Evangelism
Let us not become discouraged from evangelism because of the weight of the gospel or the time it requires.
Sharing the gospel, though it deserves our time effort and is of great value, should also not be a weight we carry around on our shoulders; a thing we have on our Christian to-do list that we can check off once it is done. It is not a burden or a job we reluctantly have to do.
Jesus as our Example
If we simply look at how Jesus spread his message, we will see he did not have a message to tell – he was the message, it was him, it was his life. Truth and freedom and sharing his message were a result of him living. It happened organically. It happened in both small and large capacities- preaching to large crowds and in small spaces with individuals. His life, the way he lived, his authority earned the right to share his message. He did not have to make an effort to find people who wanted to hear what He had to say, people were drawn to him. The crowds gathered, and so he told them the truth. His friends and family followed him, and so he showed them the truth, the truth that was not just an important message, but it was who He was, He could not help but leak the message.
This is our example for evangelism. We are to be like Christ, be his apprentices. Do not let your students believe the lie that because Jesus was also God we cannot follow his example for how to live out our faith. Jesus always sought after the Father and obeyed the Holy Spirit. We have the same access, the same Father, and the same Holy Spirit. Jesus had authority, which earned him the right to share his life, his message. We have the same authority living inside each of us. Jesus himself said to his disciples, it is better that I go away so that the Spirit may come. (John 16:7) Perhaps we want the excuse that we are not God and man in one, and so cannot even attempt to live like Jesus.
Jesus chose twelve men to follow him throughout his life, to be his apprentices because emulating him is possible. If we look at the life of the disciples, their lives did resemble Jesus’. The gospel became literally who they were, not something they felt was their job to share. If we look at the life of the disciples it was different, it did resemble Jesus’ life. It is possible.
A Life Worthy of Inquiry
Jesus also showed us that our effort in sharing the gospel is not in the work of evangelism; it is in the work of living a life worthy of inquiry. Space was earned because His life was so unique, His authority so powerful, that it became irresistible to others. Our lives shouldn’t just look different, they should be different. So, our effort is not to be spent in seeking a space to evangelize… that space will occur organically if we spend ourselves on our relationship with God – the very thing that transforms or inner-most being, the very relationship that produces a life that is unique, that has authority, that is powerful – not because we are worthy of that, but because He created us for it.
This is what we tell our students. This is what we show them. We were created for this. We were created to glorify the Most High God. The God of all authority and power on heaven and earth. We were created to be in union, housing the literal Spirit of God, the manifestation of the unparalleled Creator. When we are communing with God, He is scraping away the lies of who we are and revealing more and more of who we were created to be. When we are with Him, we will become more and more like him. This isn’t some nice thing to say but doesn’t actually happen in reality, this is real. The enemy wants us to believe the lie that having the living God inside of us isn’t actually that different than not having him. We might believe with the Holy Spirit we can avoid a few bad decisions in life – it belittles all he has done if we let this be the Christian walk. That isn’t all there is, a few right decisions instead of wrong ones. There is freedom for the captives; it is the journey to life and life to the fullest.
Have you seen the movie Divergent? Tori tells Tris, “Your different. you don’t fit into any of the categories. They can’t control you. They call it divergent.” This is us. We are different. We don’t fit into any of the categories because we were not made for this world. We have been transformed. Because of the Holy Spirit, we cannot be controlled. We love this movie because it is inspiring… but we are drawn to this movie because it speaks of real truth, one of our deepest longings, it calls to the reality of the gospel.
Evangelism will happen because we cannot help it. It will happen without words. It will happen with words. It will happen by the power of the Holy Spirit working through us. It will happen without us. It will happen with us. It will happen in crowds. It will happen over a lifetime in small spaces and big spaces.
It is an incredibly weighty thing, and the space for it deserves to be earned. But as we look at the example of Jesus Christ, we see that the space is earned by the way we live our life. It isn’t a burden or something to check off our to-do list. It is who we are. The time it takes to share will not matter, because we are never concerned for the time it takes to be us, we just are, and we live.
As youth leaders, we have a unique opportunity not just to tell young people about the beauty of life with Jesus Christ, but also to show them. Let us show them that when we spend ourselves, put all our effort into being with God, knowing Him, loving Him, hearing Him, we will be transformed. Then they will believe it is possible. Then they will not be overwhelmed or scared of evangelism. Because then they will believe they are who God says they are. Then they will see God is who He says He is. We won’t be perfect as Christ was, but we will at least be divergent.
This post was written by a youth worker who is serving as a missionary in a country where his/her faith in Christ and work in the Church could be dangerous for their family. Please join us in praying for this youth worker as he/she continues to follow God’s calling to the country he/she is serving.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.