Recently, I’ve been profoundly stirred about evangelism. Now, just before your eyes glaze over at the mention of the “e” word, take a moment to hear me out—or, read me out, as it may be. The new kingdom era that we’ve just entered is an era of unprecedented harvest. The prophets have been saying for a generation that this time was coming, a time when the global harvest would come in. I think they’re right. But I think, since they are right, we need to align our hearts with the chief evangelist as He teaches us how to do evangelism in a new, kingdom-centered way.
I have a thousand things to say about this, but I’ll offer just three.
First, we need a new model. The two primary models of evangelism in the past were No. 1 soul winning (hard sell, cold call, salesman-style personal evangelism) and No. 2 church growth (a crowd draws a crowd, pack ’em in and let the “wow factor” win them). Though both are rooted in noble motives, both tend toward performance-based evangelism. Since both are numbers-based and results-driven, people tend to become incidental to the mission.
Second, the church needs a new release of the Spirit of “The Evangelist” Himself—the Lord Jesus. Evangelism must not be detached from the person and presence of Jesus. We must not reduce evangelism down to a technique or a method. Evangelism is the Spirit of the living Christ who was “moved with compassion when He saw the multitudes.” The one who cried out so passionately so long ago, “Pray the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers!” is still crying out today.
Third, evangelism must become again, as it was originally meant to be, “kingdom evangelism.” And I mean by that we must see evangelism as heralding the good news of the kingdom. Evangelism is so much more than merely saving the lost so they can go to heaven when they die. No, evangelism is recruiting people for kingdom influence and world transformation right here, right now. With kingdom evangelism, success is measured in the transformation of people and families, cities and nations, not in the size of crowds we gather.
The old tricks won’t work anymore. The COVID-19 shutdown has made it painfully obvious to many Christians that church-as-they-knew-it is completely irrelevant to their lives. Many have found they don’t miss it, thank you very much. But there is a groundswell of lost people being swept into the kingdom by the inexorable drawing of the Father’s heart. And, if we are to partner with Him for this harvest, then we must shake off the old methods that were designed mostly to secure our success in the eyes of others, and we must embrace kingdom evangelism once more.
Listen to Kingdom Strategies on the Charisma Podcast Network to learn more about the three evangelistic efforts Jesus came to implement in the church.
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