Summarizing my Evangelism course. First I would like to note that I discovered evangelism is not what I thought it was before taking this course. I thought it was the guy you see on the television at three o'clock on a Sunday morning who would send you a prayer as soon as the authorization from your credit card cleared. Or the people who travel around the country in tents and "heal" people.
No, I discovered that evangelism is none of those things. It is actually much more. It is not only spreading the word but, living it. It is knowing your Bible and loving it. Evangelism is living each and every moment of your life for the Lord and bringing others to do the same. That is exactly what I got from this course. Some Christians and non Christians alike might find that overkill or radical but, as Christians and especially as leaders, we are required to do just that. We are required to minister to people by the way of evangelism. We are to learn about people and where they really are in their walk and help bring them closer to a righteous path. At the end when we are told to write a paper on this class, it says to keep notes from all units and refer back to them during the writing but, I don't write that way.
Dr. Roels' articles that are in every unit of the course were very accurate and illuminating. He has a way of explaining things that is understandable to both Christians and non Christians alike. Honestly, this is the most in depth course I have taken here and I will now take the role of evangelism more seriously. It is kind of a way to see who are the true Christians and who are the ones who are faking it.
I believe now that Paul was the ultimate evangelist. He is a perfect example of what it is. He loved the Lord, lived his life in a way that was unmistakably living in accordance to how God would want us to live.Yes, Paul DID also travel ( like the people traveling the country in tents?) and brought the word to many many people. Not to mentions the books of the Bible he authored. Yes, many others also did similar things but, Paul, to ME, was the ultimate...well, after Jesus that is.
Before I took this course, I didn't really take evangelism seriously. I should have though. It is hard work not to be taken lightly. We can't go out unprepared. We get together with other true Christians and talk about what has to be done and pray about it. So, evangelism also requires more prayer which I think is a wonderful thing. How many hours a day do we spend working or watching T.V. or sports or anything else other than praying? Why not spend more time praying? Doesn't God deserve at least as much time with us as a television show or sports event? I say he deserves more time than those things. Since evangelism requires we pray in groups, it helps us spend more time with God, thanking him for everything. So, before we even go out and evangelize, we pray with others. Can't beat THAT.
The ones who evangelize also care a lot about others. Why else would they learn where others are in their walk with God or take the time to even learn other cultures just to share the word with them?
In the section Wrapping up teaching on vocal witnessing-Actions, it asks "How do you spell 'vocal witness?' With the answer in big bold letters OBEDIENCE. To who? To God of course.
This class discusses what to do in just about any circumstance. What to do and say when people disagree with you, how to approach people with Jesus and so much more. I would say that if someone wanted to go out and evangelize to people and take just one course to learn how to, THIS course would be it. But, isn't anyone who tries to live their life in accordance with how God wants us to and brings the word to others evangelizing? The Disciples did that, Clergy does it as well. Therefore evangelism is really all inclusive with Christianity.
Evangelists live their lives by example. I have encountered so many fake Christians in my life. People who are "Christian" when everyone is watching. People who go to Church just to make appearances. They will claim to love the Lord during a Church service but, outside of Church say on a Wednesday, they usually show how unchristian like they truly are. An example might be someone who attends services. They might even stand and proclaim how God is working in their life. How wonderful he is. They might even lead us in prayer or teach Sunday School. Those are the things they do when they know people are watching. Then, a few days later you might see them in a different line at the store you are at. They are upset because the price on the register is different than what they thought it would be. They start yelling and cause a scene, drawing attention to them selves. They might even cuss because they feel they are justified to do so since they think they are being cheated. Maybe you see them walking into that store and say a discouraging to a woman who is out front asking for money so she can buy some food for her children. They might tell her to get a job or maybe even they have their own problems. Those are the kind of things they do when they think nobody is looking. They would not be the kind of people who could evangelize because all they really do is put on airs just so they can look good in others'eyes. Isn't it more important DO good for GOD?
When one lives their life by example, like an evangelist does, they show themselves and other and God how they handle things. What if someone who lives that way was in that check out line and a different price came up? They certainly wouldn't yell and cause a scene. They might calmly inquire about the price difference and hear the clerk out. Upon leaving they would tell the clerk "God bless you." Or how about the lady outside asking for money to feed her children? The evangelist might give her some of the groceries they just bought and pray with that mother. That is a true Christian. That is living life by example and in accordance. The evangelist is an important party of Christianity. They truly care about people and know how to handle circumstances. It takes a lot to live life like that. It takes patience, it takes faith, it takes sincere prayer and it takes that obedience to God. Do you have that kind of commitment to be a witness for God? It is something I am working on as a Clergyman. This class has given me some ideas how to do that. It wont be easy but, nothing worth while ever is.
My mentor and Pastor of the Church I attend always talks about being prepared. Not prepared to put on airs, prepared for when we are called to be witnesses foe Christ. Sometimes we are the only Bible someone has. We might be the only person they know who is a Christian or the only person they are comfortable enough talking to about God and the Bible. As an evangelist, we surely need to be prepared. We need to know our Scriptures. We need to step up when God calls us to spread his word. This class is unique in that it goes over generalities and goes into specifics for evangelism. It includes Scripture, Bible stories and inspiration.
The full title of this course is EVANGELISM: PRESENTING GRACE. I wrote a Sermon in another course that talks about Grace. It is not something that can be earned. It is a gift from God. It is entirely up to him who gets it and who doesn't. Being involved in Evangelism wont guarantee you will be given Grace but, it IS a good way to live regardless. It's amazing, as I write this I am all to aware that this stuff is really just the tip of the iceberg. We can never know what God thinks about everything. We CAN however strive to help him spread his good word and bring others to know him. Even help the ones who claim to know him with their walk.
To wrap this up in just a few more words; the Evangelism class at Christian Leaders Institute was a surprise for me. It opened my eyes as to what evangelism really is and the commitment it takes to be an evangelist. I would highly recommend this class to anyone who wants to be a part of any Ministry.