So you love the Lord and you desperately want to see your unsaved friends and family members turn to Jesus. Yet you’re not gifted as an evangelist…or as a preacher or a theologian. What, therefore, can you do? Does that mean that you are helpless to reach your unsaved loved ones with the gospel and must wait for others to do it?
Not at all.
All God’s children have been given a spiritual gift (1 Cor 12:7) but we are not all given the same gift; not all of us are evangelists. Yet all of us can play a part in the spread of the gospel in our nation. Let me suggest some ways we can do this.
This is vitally important because the Scriptures tell us that salvation is God’s work. It is God who draws his chosen people to Christ (Jn 6:44). It is he who convicts them of sin (Jn 16:8), and causes them to repent and believe the gospel (Acts 11:18; Eph 2:8). Since salvation is God’s work we must petition him to do this work in our unsaved loved ones.
2. Identify yourself as a Christian
Evangelism can be a scaring thing. For many of us the mere thought of it can cause a cold sweat. A helpful way to approach it is with baby steps. The first step is simply to tell those whom you want to reach with the gospel that you are a Christian. Our Master commands us to be willing to acknowledge him before men (Matt 10:32-33), and having ‘come out’ as a Christian we may even find that it leads to conversations that result in them seeking Christ.
3. Invite them to Church
The next baby step forward and another way we can have an impact for the gospel is to invite our unbelieving family and friends to church. You may not be gifted to communicate the gospel with clarity and simplicity but you can invite them to hear someone who is. Your pastor will be (should be) gifted as a preacher and teacher and he will be able to articulate the gospel in a clear and compelling way. Many people in the past have been born again simply by hearing the gospel proclaimed at a regular Lord’s Day church service. John Wesley is a famous example.
4. Give them a gospel tract
A forth way a non-Evangelist can have an impact for the gospel is by handing someone a gospel tract. The advantage of this is that the person can keep the tract, read it in their own time, re-read it again, and days or possibly years later the Lord can cause them to find it, read it and be saved; even if they rejected its message initially. If you feel confident, you can even read through the tract with them.
5. Invite them to read the Bible with you
My final suggestion is that you can invite your unbelieving friend or family member to meet with you and read through a book of the Bible. You could, for example, read through one chapter of the Gospel of John together every week until you’ve covered the whole book. This is an easy thing that each of us can do. It allows an unbeliever to be exposed to the Word of God in large amounts, in great detail, over an extended period of time and it allows you to deal specifically with people who are seeking (since it is unlikely that those who are not seeking will agree to do this).
You may be able to come up with many other suggestions. But I submit these five to you as ways that all us non-evangelists can have an impact for the gospel, and ways we can make baby steps toward a bolder ministry to the unbelievers around us.
Matt Cole is in his third year of ministry training at PTC and attends Somerville Presbyterian Church