Wednesday, May 29, 2024
Wednesday, May 29, 2024
HomeAll The NewsHEALTHY CHURCH: Motives for Evangelism

HEALTHY CHURCH: Motives for Evangelism

Why do you do what you do? Our motives are very important and should not be overlooked. Alvin Reid, in The Evangelism Handbook, said, “Surely there should be a connection between our motive and our method. Why share Christ? Too much emphasis on evangelism has to do with the how-to. I mentioned in Chapter 1 that Christianity is a movement. The best way to know your movement is in trouble is when all you do is create how-to manuals! For people to have a lasting commitment to something as personally challenging as evangelism, we need a clear understanding of why before proceeding to the how.”

• First, our motive should start with God. Mark Liederbach wrote, “The supreme motivation for evangelism, then, finds its genesis in Who evangelism is about and all other motivations find deep and rich grounding and proper expression from that point alone.” Why would we not want to share who He is with everyone just because of who He is? Christianity is not just a faith in faith. Faith has no value unless its object is legitimate, and our God is the only one who is legitimate. Faith is not about feeling but fact. Faith is not about what is not known but about what is not seen (Heb 11:1).

It is not just about the task of evangelizing. We are not created to just be task-oriented people but to first be principle-oriented. Unfortunately, you sometimes hear the remark, “I don’t care about theology, I only care if it works.” Everything we do is theological! The first question should never be, “Does it work?” but rather, “Is it right?” The right thing to do is to realize that God desires all to worship Him and, because of that truth, we desire for as many others as possible to join us in that worship. We share Christ because of who He is and there is none other like Him. We are first called to love Him with all our heart, soul and mind.

• Second, followers of Christ are the only ones who have the real answers to why humanity is broken and how it can be fixed. Mankind has figured out many things through reasoning and science, but no one has ever figured out how to fix their relationship with God. Salvation is His plan, on His terms. What a child of God has to offer to the world, no one else has to offer. We need to know what we believe and why we believe it because Christianity is being asked the hard questions. Theology is important because we must make sure our language is precise, clear and biblical. Do you know how to show someone how to be born again? If you don’t, learn!

• Third, our motivation for evangelism is a concern for those who are lost. The New Testament term “lost” is not a derogatory term. It actually denotes how valuable “lost” people are to God and the effort He gives, and we should give, to find them. Just check out Luke 15! What is it about us that has so little concern for our neighbors and acquaintances who do not know Christ? It appears that many find it far easier to go on a mission trip and witness there than it is to witness to the people they know. Personal evangelism is not only theologically sound, it is also the most effective way to reach “lost” people. Evangelism is important because it is important to God.

Quoting from Alvin Reid’s book again, he said, “The Western church has too often seen Christianity as a means to personal fulfillment, a way to find ‘your best life now.’ …Many believers demonstrate a lack of passion for the gospel stemming from a consumer ethic. After all, sharing Christ will bring rejection. The gospel, no matter how winsomely you share it, will be a stumbling block to some and scandalous to others (I Cor. 1:23). So, if we are driven by a Christianity that is fundamentally about our happiness, we will hardly be motivated to be rejected, which will happen if we share Christ faithfully.” 

Why should we be motivated to evangelize? Francis Schaeffer said it well when asked about how to answer all the critics, skeptics, doubters and false teachers: “We don’t do it to win, we do it because our risen Savior commanded us!” Change occurs not by being told what we need to do for God but by hearing the good news about what God has done for us. Gospel change is the Spirit of God using the story of God to make the beauty of God come alive in our hearts. The focus is on believing and not behaving so we need to share with others what it means to repent and believe.

If you are still unsure where to start, allow me to suggest taking a look at the Good Soil training materials we utilize with our missionaries, church planters and several churches. Email us at larry@bmaaam.com, heidi@bmaam.com or eli@bmaam.com for more information.

Zacchaeus was not transformed by a command of Jesus but by an encounter and experience with Jesus. How will you maximize kingdom leverage in the lives of those God has placed in your circle of influence? Are you intentionally focused on using your gifts, time and opportunities to bless others with the knowledge and love of God?

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