This is a simple, but important, post.
What Fuels Evangelism?
Why do you believe you should share the gospel? Is it out of guilt? Do you feel like it’s expected of you and you need to share it so you can fit in at church? Is it out of pride? Will bringing newcomers to church make you look good? Is it out of habit? Do you do it because that’s what your church has always done?
These are not healthy motives for evangelism. To look at the only healthy motivation for evangelism we need to look at what evangelism actually is.
Evangelism is sharing the gospel.
You probably just read that and said, “Duh.”
That’s okay, I don’t blame you. It’s really simplistic but it’s also subtly profound. “Gospel” means “good news” and that’s where we need to go. We need to see the gospel news as “good” before we get to the right motivation for evangelism.
Evangelism requires you to believe the gospel is GOOD news.
If the gospel isn’t good news, why share it?
If the gospel is anything but good news to you then you a) won’t share it much and b) won’t share it effectively when you bother to do so. This is why the “mainline” protestant churches are dying. They embraced the theologically liberal vision of the gospel – Jesus was a good example and teacher for us while ignoring sin completely – about 100 years ago. That’s not a particularly impressive message. It’s no wonder the laity doesn’t share that news. And it’s no wonder that they aren’t particularly concerned about living in light of that news. The not-so-good news of theological liberalism is self-defeating.
Evangelism requires you to believe the gospel is the BEST news.
If the gospel isn’t the best news, why not share something better?
If the gospel is good news but it’s not quite as good as some other news, which news will you give priority to sharing?
- If the gospel is good, but not as good as the score of the game, which are you going to talk about with friends?
- If the gospel is good, but not as good as your hobby, which are you going to devote your time to?
- If the gospel is good, but not as good as the sin which tempts you most, which are you going to pursue more vigorously?
It’s not enough for the gospel to be good news for you. It must be the best news.
Joy in the gospel – valuing it as the best news – is the one legitimate motivation for evangelism.
What if that doesn’t describe you?
There’s only one thing that can make the gospel beautiful in your eyes: God revealing it to you.
- Pray that he would show you the incredible glory of your redemption.
- Seek out an understanding of the depth of the sin he paid for in you.
- Attempt to understand the immeasurable glory of our King and how he wants communion with us.
If the gospel isn’t the best news it won’t be the news you share.