One of the most important tasks of the church is evangelism. Christ just before departure from this world, in His final instructions, advised His followers, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matt. 28: 19). Christ clearly had a global evangelistic mission in mind; all of humanity need God, and needed to be save from the scourges of sin and deliverance from death. However, as the church has experience spreading this global message means more than just a passing glance, and a weekly or daily encouraging sermon or word. It involves much more than just broadcasting a statement or telling a set of facts, it is about proclaiming a universal message of life.
Though it is a message that affected the world, the failure of the modern church to proclaim this message of hope, means many people are living and dying hopeless. The church is in the docks, as a survey revealed fewer than 10% of Christians are involved in evangelism. So how does faith impact the world? One definite way is through the Disciples of Christ living the gospel as a way of life thus proclaiming it to the world by our lifestyles. Christ with His disciples demonstrated that the lifestyle and relationship matters.
People are watching the church, looking at how we handle our responsibilities, situations that affect the world and how we managed crisis. Are there any evidence that Christ and His gospel makes a difference in our lives and how we connects with the world, how we live with others? Christians lifestyle must demonstrate godly Christian values in front of our friends and family members so they can see the change God has made in us (1 Peter 3:1–2). Eventually, the salvation of our loved ones is up to God, but we must play our part. It is God’s power and grace that saves, people are not save by our efforts, it is by God, yet we have a role to play. The best we can do is pray for them without ceasing, open up, declare it and encourage them constantly, as if their house was on fire and they were asleep, equally we must live the Christian life in front of them. Paul planted, Apollos watered, but God who brought about the increase in the church, (1 Cor. 3:6). Certainly, our most important observers and closest critics are our families and friends. So how do we start to evangelise those in our circles, our colleagues without turning them off and pushing them away from our goals?
At some point in our journey in every Christian walk through life; there may be a family member, a friend, worker colleague, or acquaintance who has not yet accepted the Christian message. Sharing the gospel with total strangers can be difficult at best, but it can become even more challenging when it involves someone with whom we have close relations and emotional ties. Off course the Bible prepares Christians for the difficult evangelistic task, informing us that some people will be offended at the hearing of the gospel message (Luke 12:51–53). However, this is not an excuse to remain quiet, the command is to take the gospel to the world, and there is no defence for keeping it to ourselves. We have to tell it! (Matt. 28:19–20; Acts 1:8; 1 Pet. 3:15).
Subsequently, how can we evangelise our family members, friends, co-workers, and acquaintances? The most important weapon we Christians have at our disposal is prayer, we have got to love our enemies, we have got to love our friends, but we must pray for them all. Prayer changes things, so pray that God would change their hearts and open their eyes to the truth of the gospel of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4). People are being caught into vile theologies, and complex religions that offers them nothing, takes them nowhere but death, we need to pray that God would convince them of His love for them and their need for salvation through Jesus Christ (John 3:16). So called great teachers, philosophers, academics are teaching there is no God, confusing many fertile minds, we need to pray for the wisdom of God to dwell in us, that we know how to best minister to the misguided in our world (Jam. 1:5).
Christians must be enthusiastic and courageous in our genuine proclamation of the gospel of Christ. We must declare the message of salvation through Jesus Christ to our loved ones, our family and friends (Rom. 10:9–10). Like solders prepared for battle, Christians must be ready to go to war, but our war is spiritual not physical. We speak of our faith (1 Pet. 3:15), acting with gentleness and respect for all. There is no substitute, no alternative, no way out of the responsibility of individually spreading the gospel message of Christ, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” (Rom. 10:17).
As we attempt to take the message of Christ to all the world, we need to evangelise our families, our close friends, praying and sharing our faith with them. In order to affect the world we need to understand how the world works. The message of the gospel must be proclaim at home and abroad. We affect our families by out Christian lifestyle and our families will in turn impact the world directly by sharing and indirectly by their lifestyle. Families, our loved ones and friends, we can be the salt and light of the world, that needs the love of Christ in their hearts.