Evangelism: It's Only about What You Value Most
- Keith Manuel Baptist Press
- 2008 30 Jul
ALEXANDRIA, La. -- What do you value most?
When you value something, you talk about it. If you get a new car, do you tell anyone? How excited would you be to discuss a new child or grandchild? Are you energized about the start of an upcoming sports season? Don't you naturally talk about it?
Why do Christians offer so many excuses for not incorporating God in conversations? We say we don't know enough Scripture. We try to convince ourselves that others don't want to talk to us. We are afraid or don't have time. Excuse after excuse.
"If someone doesn't want to hear about the thing you're interested in, do you stop talking about it with everyone? No. You find someone who is interested in talking about it," John Avant, pastor of First Baptist Church West Monroe, La., once said.
When you value Jesus above everything else, you find ways to tell others what He has done for you.
I watched this become a reality in my son's life recently. We went to North Carolina to participate in Families on Mission, a NAMB-sponsored mission trip for parents and grandparents with children.
Jeremy, who is 12, told my wife he wanted to lead someone to faith in Christ. Then he said, "Mom, can you imagine walking around in heaven and someone walking up to you that you lead to Jesus. That guy might say, 'Thanks, man. Because you told me about Jesus, I'm here in heaven.' Mom, that would be awesome!" He began to pray that God would open the door during the mission trip for him to share his faith.
That particular week Jeremy didn't lead someone to the Lord, but he didn't quit praying. Two weeks later, while helping with a Vacation Bible School, he helped lead a girl to the Lord. He was so excited when the parents of the girl wanted to meet him and thank him.
What happened to Jeremy can happen to anyone. Jeremy made three instinctual choices to become obedient to Christ's command.
First, he had the desire. Jeremy loves Jesus, and loves to go to church. He has studied the Bible enough to know what Jesus wanted him to do. Because of his love for Jesus, he wanted to tell someone what Jesus did for him. He knew the other person's eternal life depended on it. Desire or passion leads to intentional evangelism.
Secondly, Jeremy prayed. God tells us to pray for laborers to go into the harvest. However, when we ask for laborers, God points to us and says, "OK, let's start with you." When you pray for opportunities to witness, God opens your spiritual eyes to where He is working.
Thirdly, Jeremy acted when the opportunity presented itself. He put himself in places where lost people were. Then when the opportunity arose, he put his faith into action. He and an adult teacher shared the Gospel with the girl and Jeremy led her as she prayed to receive Christ.
To Jeremy, the value of Jesus was so important that it motivated him to find someone and tell her about Jesus. Watching Jeremy motivates me to continue to set the example and to reevaluate how much I value the Lord Jesus. What do you value most?
Keith Manuel is an evangelism associate on the Louisiana Baptist Convention's evangelism & church growth team.
© Copyright 2008 Baptist Press. Used with permission.