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Bas Rijksen

Ever felt pressured in sharing your faith? You’re not alone. Join us on a journey to redefine evangelism, stripping away heavy misconceptions and viewing it anew.

Let’s tackle our first myth: the notion that evangelism is about hidden agendas or performance. In truth, it’s about ‘being’ in Christ and expressing His love naturally.

Many feel guilty for not ‘doing’ enough in their faith, but real evangelism is simple and profound. It’s about embracing our identity in Christ, where loving becomes as natural as breathing, without any need for pressure or hidden agendas.

Prepare to debunk five common myths and discover evangelism’s true essence – not a checklist of ‘dos,’ but a sharing of what God has done and what He believes about us. It’s about genuine connection, not forced salesmanship.

We’re on a journey from start to finish, guided not by our efforts but by the Father drawing people to Himself (John 6:44), and the Holy Spirit revealing their true identity in Christ (John 16:8).

So, let’s explore evangelism as a continuous expression of Christ’s life, a journey of nurturing, patience, and love – a reflection of His grace in every interaction.

Myth #1: Evangelism Requires a Salesman Approach

Diving into Myth #1, let’s explore a common misconception: that evangelism requires a salesman’s approach. Now, isn’t that a bit like trying to sell ice in Antarctica? Unnecessary and ineffective! Real evangelism is much more relational, embodying the love, and grace we have come to know, even as we ourselves are in process. Love becomes the centerpiece of how we interact with one another and how we love others.

Picture this: Jesus, meeting the rich young ruler. Did He give him a sales pitch? Nope. Mark 10:21 shows us something different, ‘Jesus looked at him and loved him.’ It’s all about that genuine, unconditional love, not a sales tactic. This is about building bridges, not closing deals.

So, here’s the deal: Evangelism is about authentic, relational engagement. It’s about letting Christ’s love shine through us, naturally attracting others, kinda like how flowers draw bees with their fragrance, not with a sales pitch. It’s about being genuine, being real, being you – because that’s who Christ works through.

The idea that we must ‘befriend’ or act with an ulterior motive to lead others to Christ only leads to feeling inauthentic and pressured. True evangelism means dismantling the old sacred-secular dichotomy, fully surrendering to the Father, Son, and Spirit, which leads to us being good human beings, not good evangelists.

And remember, when we do this, it’s not about us; it’s about letting Christ do His thing through us. No scripts, no pressure, just pure, unadulterated love in action. That’s the kind of ‘salesmanship’ that changes hearts and lives, and it comes straight from the ultimate source of love – Jesus Himself. So, let’s drop the sales act and start loving like He did. That’s the real deal!

Myth #2: Evangelism is Solely About Verbal Proclamation

Diving deeper beyond the spoken word, we uncover that true evangelism transcends mere verbal exchanges. It encompasses a way of life where every action, every decision, reflects the profound love and grace we have received from the Father, Son, and Spirit. In this light, there’s no part of life that isn’t evangelism; our very existence becomes a testament to the reality of our inclusion in the embrace of the Trinity.

You see, we often think evangelism is like a scripted TV commercial, where we have our lines perfectly memorized. But hold your horses! True evangelism is so much more than just words; it’s a lifestyle, an embodiment of Christ’s indwelling love in every aspect of our lives.

Imagine evangelism as a tapestry of love and grace, woven into the very fabric of our daily interactions. It’s in the way we love our neighbors, our enemies, and even ourselves. As we fully embrace our union with the Father, Son, and Spirit, our lives become a living, breathing testimony of God’s grace. It’s like being a fisherman, not just in catching fish but in loving the river, the fish, and the fellow fishermen.

Here’s the kicker: Evangelism happens in the natural flow of life, in the most unexpected places and ways. Think of a casual chat about fishing leading to deeper conversations about hope and life. It’s not about segregating the sacred from the secular; it’s about merging them. By living authentically in Christ, every action, every word, becomes an act of love, an opportunity for evangelism, without the effort or need to “do” evangelism.

So, let’s toss out the notion that evangelism is just about talking. It’s about living, loving, and being in Christ. When we do that, our very presence becomes a beacon of hope and an invitation to experience the love of Christ. And that, my friends, is the most powerful form of evangelism there is, where love is at the center of how we interact with the world.

Myth #3: Evangelism Must Always Lead to Immediate Conversion

Challenging Myth #3’s premise that evangelism requires immediate conversion, we see the undue pressure it creates. This belief suggests a ‘doing’ mentality that contradicts the effortless ‘being’ in Christ’s love. Now, this myth is like thinking every seed you plant must sprout instantly. In reality, evangelism is more like gardening; we plant seeds of love and truth, then wait, and trust.

Evangelism is a process that unfolds in God’s timing, not ours. It’s the Father who draws people to Himself, and the Holy Spirit convicts hearts of their true identity, not through our forced efforts but through our natural expression of Christ’s love. It’s about embodying Christ’s love and grace in our everyday lives, engaging with others authentically, and understanding that everyone is on their own journey.

The essence of our interactions shouldn’t be a desperate rush to convert, but rather a sincere expression of Christ’s love within us. Think about it: Did Jesus rush to convert everyone He met instantly? No, He first showed love, grace, compassion, and forgiveness. He built relationships, met people where they were, and gently led them to the truth. We’re encouraged to follow this example, trusting the Holy Spirit’s timing and guidance in each unique interaction.

So, let’s embrace a patient, loving approach to evangelism. Let’s be gardeners who joyfully tend to the seeds we plant, resting in the knowledge that awakening hearts is the work of the divine, not ours. This approach not only respects each individual’s journey but also fosters deeper, more meaningful connections that are more likely to blossom into a lasting embrace of faith. This is the true essence of evangelism – being a living testament to the love and grace of Christ, effortlessly drawing others into the divine dance of the Trinity.

Myth #4: Evangelism is the Responsibility of a Chosen Few

Addressing Myth #4’s belief that evangelism is for a select few, we confront its limited view. This myth assumes that only certain individuals with special spiritual gifts or ministry roles are destined to share the gospel. However, evangelism is not confined to specific tasks by a chosen few; it’s about all of us living out Christ’s life within us. The idea that evangelism is exclusive, like a secret recipe held by some, is misleading. In reality, every one of us, empowered by Christ’s love, is called to evangelize.

Evangelism is simply about “being” – being in Christ and letting His love flow through us to others. It’s not a burden or a duty but a natural expression of our identity in Him. You see, evangelism is about embodying the love and grace of God in our everyday lives. It’s not about being a salesperson for Christianity, but about being a living expression of Christ’s love. Just as Jesus treated the rich young man with love first (Mark 10:21), we’re called to show love, grace, and compassion in our interactions.

Have you ever considered that your simplest acts of kindness could be powerful forms of evangelism? So, whether you’re a bass fisherman, a lawyer, or a homemaker, you are called to evangelize through your life. Not through forced actions or carefully planned words but through the spontaneous and genuine outpouring of Christ’s love from within. This approach takes the pressure off and allows us to be authentic in our relationships, reflecting the true nature of Christ’s love.

So let’s embrace this truth: each one of us has a role in sharing our faith, simply by being who we are in Christ. There is no “must” or “ought to” – only the freedom to live out the love that we have been given. It’s not about a chosen few; it’s about all of us, chosen to love as He loves. By embracing our unique roles, we not only fulfill our call to evangelize but also enrich our daily lives with purpose and deeper connections.

Myth #5: Evangelism is a One-Time Event

Alright, dear friend, let’s explore another misunderstanding: ‘Evangelism is a One-Time Event.’ This notion places evangelism in a box, limiting it to specific moments or actions, whereas, in reality, evangelism is the continual expression of Christ’s life in and through us. 

Now, thinking of evangelism as a one-hit wonder is like saying you only need to water a plant once for it to flourish forever. Evangelism, in its true essence, is an ongoing journey of relationships and discipleship.

In our union with Christ, each moment is an opportunity to share His love, going beyond traditional evangelistic events. Evangelism is like gardening; we sow seeds and water them, but as Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 3:6-7, growth ultimately comes from God. This perspective encourages us to focus on the ongoing process of nurturing, patience, and love, rather than immediate outcomes. It’s about walking with others, enriching our journey together, and observing the miraculous growth initiated by God in these relationships.

Now, think about this: if we approach life understanding that evangelism is not something we “do” but something we “are,” then every moment becomes an act of evangelism. That’s what Jesus taught us. He showed us that true evangelism is about building authentic relationships, not just ticking a box and moving on.

This grace-filled journey of evangelism invites us to rest in the knowledge that we are already participating in the divine nature through Christ. It’s about walking alongside others, sharing our lives with them, and allowing the Holy Spirit to work in His perfect timing. It’s not a sprint; it’s a marathon. And in this marathon, every step we take with someone is an act of love, an opportunity to show Christ’s grace in action.

This journey doesn’t need to be laden with guilt or a sense of inadequacy for not doing enough. Instead, understanding our role in God’s plan as conduits of His love and grace allows us to live free from the pressure to perform or convert. Our mission is simply to be vessels of His unconditional love, leaving the transformation of hearts in His capable hands.

Embracing Authentic Evangelism

Alright, friend, we’ve dismantled myths to unveil a more authentic, love-driven form of evangelism. It’s become clear that evangelism is not telling people what they must do but telling people what God has done and believes about them. This journey goes beyond mere events or select individuals; it’s about true connection and discipleship for all.

In surrendering to the Father, Son, and Spirit, we embody the Gospel, seamlessly merging our daily lives with effortless, spiritual worship and evangelism.

Envision evangelism as a vibrant, living interaction – part of a grand, interconnected tapestry of grace. Each relationship, each loving exchange, weaves into this beautiful picture. Growing in Christ, sharing His love becomes as effortless as breathing, a natural expression of our being.

So, let’s embrace our unique roles in this divine dance. Each interaction is an opportunity to reflect Christ’s love, free from scripts or pressure. We are each a distinct expression of God’s love, essential to His story.

Let’s go forth, authentically ourselves, freely loving, and witness as the world transforms, one relationship at a time. Our mission is to live out this authentic evangelism, anchored in the knowledge that it is God who draws, the Holy Spirit who awakens hearts, and Jesus who includes us in His divine narrative. This is the Good News we share and live – a call to make the world brighter and more loving, in union with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Questions about the content of this article? Or perhaps something else is on your mind? Visit Grace Gaze Academy and enroll in the Academy to access our Grace Wisdom Widget. It’s a unique Ask-Bas Chatbot where you’ll find answers drenched in unconditional love and overflowing with grace. While free to access, we ask for a donation to assist in maintaining and enhancing these transformative resources. Ready for enlightening insights? Click the link here to explore more.

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