What Is Your Role In Evangelism?
Deacon Victor Beshir
You love evangelism and you love to put a lot of effort in evangelism, or you would even like to make evangelism your primary service, which is great. But, you may have already asked yourself, as I did myself, what should I do in evangelism? … What is my role in evangelism? … and even more importantly, what is God’s plan for my life? ..What does He need me to do in evangelism?
Everyone thinks of evangelism as preaching to others or talking to others about Christianity or Orthodoxy or our church. But, is preaching the only method to evangelize?
Of course, one of our duties as Christians is to proclaim the Lord’s death and His resurrection to other individuals. But, do you think we are all called to be preachers?
me start by referring to a business seminar that I attended a few months ago in
He followed what he does best in his life, mixed it with Christ, and then used his career to witness to Christ.
In the same meeting, a well-known international businessman concluded the business seminar by saying all what you heard are tools but lacks the power to do. Then, he talked about the power as the power you will acquire when you believe in God and accept Jesus Christ as your own savior. Tens of thousands were listening to him. To my amazement, he concluded the meeting with a prayer that the Lord accept us and let us enjoy the power of His salvation. Although we, as Orthodox, are in disagreement with his theology, however, I admired the way he services evangelism. He does the best thing he likes in his life, mixes it with Christ, and then uses it in evangelism. He is a businessman, but surely, he is a servant of evangelism.
Let us think for a minute about a great figure of the Bible, David. Everyone knows David the king, the military general, the prophet, and all other titles he had. For me, the most important achievement of his life is his poems, his psalms. Until today, we use it in individual prayers and in the church. They move our hearts to God. They pull us to repentance, and lead us into spirituality. His psalms are a great message of evangelism. So, David used the best thing he liked in his life, writing poems, mixed it with God, and let God inspire him, and lead his hands to write treasures. He was not a full time evangelist, yet his poems were like a great net that evangelized millions of people!
A few years ago I was visiting
George Fredrick Handel, a musician, wrote his famous symphony ‘The Messiah.’ This symphony evangelized to many people. They said it was the most powerful spiritual music ever written. Again, Handel used what he liked the most, music, mixed it with God, and used it as a tool in evangelism.
The impact of writers in evangelism is well
recognized. A small
brochure could attract so many souls to God. A spiritual book written by a
clever writer who allows God to work in his writing could have influence on
people for centuries. Think of a book like ‘The Confessions’ written by
Sometime ago I heard a story about a Sunday School teacher who asked her children to go from door to door to distribute a crucifixion picture and say ‘Jesus loves you.’ A man was thinking of committing suicide, and then he looked at heaven and said, ‘God if you are there and you like me to live send me a sign.’ At that moment a girl from that Sunday School class was knocking at the door. When he opened, she told the man, ‘Jesus loves you.’ He looked at her and asked, ‘how do you know little girl?’ She gave him the crucifixion picture, and told him, if he does like you, why He died for you Mr.! The life of the man changed and he followed the Lord. The impact of Sunday School teachers planting love of evangelism are so great.
The contemporary Mother Teresa group of sisters, evangelized through nursing, caring for people who have nobody to care for them, and showing the love of Christ by deeds. Physicians, nurses, psychologist, counselors, and social workers could have a great impact if they mixed their service with the message of God in sincere care and interest in people.
Now, I will talk to you about those rich women who followed Christ, and served him with their money. Do you consider them as servants of evangelism? Yes, I do. Their financial support was used in getting the needs of evangelism at that time.
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This will lead me to ask the question:
What do you have in your life?
Skills, money, mercy, time. Whatever you have, put it in the service of evangelism, that will help you to be a servant of evangelism.
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far, I have mentioned many ways to be a servant of evangelism. You don’t have
to be Michelangelo to serve God using your art. Even
a small piece of art will impact some people. You don’t have to be
in the same level of David to be a servant of evangelism using poems. Sometimes
one poem could influence many. Consider
the internationally famous song ‘As I am I come to Thee,’ which was written by
Now, let us have a look inside the work of evangelism. There are many kinds of work inside evangelism, for example:
Evangelism in Western Societies:
In addition to all what I mentioned above, there are some few additional contemporary works in evangelism that need some people to work on them, such as:
Nobody can ignore the impact of the Internet today in the Western Societies. People used to find the answer to their questions in books or by asking others. Today, people go to the Internet and check web pages and chat rooms to find answers to their questions. Therefore, the goal is to have evangelistic web pages and chat rooms that fill this need. We are in great need of web page designers, editors, maintenance people, and writers.
Some people find e-mailing as a good method of expressing their needs and to discuss the faith. Some servants of the church find themselves answering hundreds of e-mails coming from people from many countries with different spiritual needs. It became a big service in itself. It needs servants of evangelism whose only service is to answer e-mails, and thru e-mails they can attract many people to Christ and to the church, even though those people live thousands of miles away from where they live.
Video is one great tool that we need to put in the service of evangelism. I remembered a Muslim clerk went to my daughter’s class when she was in high school. He could not speak but a few words in English, but he had a great video to show. After the video one third of the class decided to follow Islam. My daughter explained to student what the video did not tell about Islam. You can imagine how much efforts, skills, and research was put in producing such a wonderful video. We have no evangelistic video in our church. We need people who are good in writing scripts, playing music, and in all the different areas of producing videos. What do you think? Do you consider those people who work in producing such videos as servants of evangelism? Of course they are. They speak to others in artistic contemporary methods
Visitors need a special care that requires a ‘welcome committee’ that not only offers a welcome, lets them feel at home, but also to offer help in follow-up prayers, introduce visitors to the priest & others, and also follow-up after the visit with telephone calls & thank you cards.
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you have read about all these fields of evangelism service, what is your role in
evangelism? What is the will of God in your life? Which way of service to
Remember that God has a plan for your life, and He capitalized on it for all your life. He planted specific skills, supported you with particular feelings and ways of thinking. He allowed you to meet certain people and visit or live in certain areas. God can use whatever you have in evangelism. All that He planted in you was not in vain or without a purpose, because God does everything with high wisdom and great vision.
Let me stop here to give you some examples:
Why did God allow Moses to be brought up as a son of the daughter of the Pharaoh of Egypt (Exodus ) –The most advanced country in the world at that time?
The Bible reveals to us one reason when it says ‘
‘So Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in his words and deeds.’(Acts ). He was not only well-educated in all sciences and knowledge of the Egyptians, but also he became so powerful and wise in deeds. In other words, he became a leader.
God instructed him spiritually in the wilderness for another forty years. Then
He sent Moses to be the leader of the children of
Therefore, God will use what He allowed you to learn, to live, and even what He allowed you to suffer. All what you have passed through in your life are important ingredients in preparing you. He might not use you immediately, as He did with Moses, if He feels that you need more spiritual depth, but surely the day will come when He uses all what you have in His service, if you allow Him.
said about him that ‘He was born a public
speaker, and with the grace of God he became an evangelist.’ God
allowed him to study philosophy and reach a high level that except for the fact
that he left philosophy to join the service in the church, he could have been
one of the famous philosophers. Then God allowed
the above was preparation from God for
Then, ask yourself this question:
What is the thing that you love to do without irritation or getting bored even if you continue to do continually for days or even weeks?
say drawing or writing or serving others, or searching, or singing, or reading,
or talking to others & socializing with them, or teaching certain ages, or
visiting the sick or the needy, or visiting prisoners or design web pages or
playing football or volleyball or other games or work in a business or study.
No matter what you discover in yourself, and you may think is far away from
God’s service, in fact, this is what should be your main service to God, at
least for now.
Whatever your answer is, just take whatever you love and pray for it. Put God in it. Do it for Him, and not for yourself. Then ask Him to use it. Finally, use it in evangelism. This will determine what kind of evangelism service you will get into. This could lead you to be an evangelist or an apologist or a teacher or a welcome person or a translator or a writer or an artist or a doctor or a businessperson or a worker in other areas where you serve the Lord in evangelism with all your power, ability, and love.
What I would like to add here is very crucial. You need to lead a spiritual life that allows the ego to disappear and God to dominate in your life, so you will be an instrument in the hands of God. Consider all what you have –no matter how great- is nothing without the grace of God. You need to mix what you have with prayers and humility. Keep in mind that the objective of what we do is to show others ‘the unsearchable riches of Christ’ (Eph 3:8)
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Now, I come back to answer the very first question I asked:
What Can I Do In Evangelism?
I think, we can divide the work in evangelism into two major categories- although there are some works that could exist in both categories:
First: Work directly in Proclaiming the gospel, defending the faith, and/or teaching the new converts.
As the Nelson’s Bible Dictionary said, ‘Evangelist is a person authorized to proclaim the gospel of Christ. In a narrow sense, the word refers to one of the gospel writers. The word means, one who proclaims good tidings’ (Eph , 2 Tim 4:5).
Evangelists, therefore, are people who are dedicated to proclaim the gospel.
Second: Servants of Evangelism:
Before talking about the different kinds of service, I ‘d like to make you aware of the depth of the word ‘servant’ in the Bible:
1- The Lord Himself was called a servant:
Listen to what the Father says about His Son, "Here is my servant, whom I have chosen,
My beloved, with whom My soul is well pleased. I will put My Spirit upon Him,
and He will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.(Matt )
‘The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified His servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though he had decided to release Him’ (Acts 3:13)
Acts When God raised up His servant, He sent Him first to you, to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways." (Acts )
2- Other Apostles called ‘Servants’:
‘Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, (Romans 1:1)
Of this gospel I have become a servant according to the gift of God's grace that was given me by the working of His power (Ephe 3:7).
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes in the Dispersion (James 1:1).
Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ (2Pet 1:1).
Therefore, it is an honor to be called a servant of God or a
Servant of Evangelism.
Now let us examine some of the workers in this category:
Please, keep in mind that the following in themselves can’t be an instrument of God until the person mixes them with God’s love. Think about what each worker here can offer to God.
These people are needed to contact other churches, schools, & organizations to ask them to arrange for presentations about our church. Muslims have done a very good job in this. We need them badly in establishing relationships with newspaper editors, so we can send them articles to publish. I wish I had a person to help me in this area.
He thought of establishing a mission society, but he could not. However, he became a catalyst for missions by establishing a working theory of missions, which the Russian Orthodox Church at large appreciated only after his death.
Definitely, we need servants with vision who can lead the thoughts and hearts of others towards love of Christ, His church, and evangelism.
Coming to the end of this lesson, you need to pray, humble yourself before God, and ask His guidance on what to do in evangelism. Does any service that I mentioned attract you? If you have many and you don’t know which to pick up, list them in a piece of paper, put it in a small envelop, and the envelop on the altar. Then wait for God’s direction.