Effective evangelism begins and ends with understanding who Jesus is and what He has done in His death, burial and resurrection. The content of the Gospel provides the fuel and motivation for why Christian’s are to engage in evangelism. Jesus sends forth His disciple’s with the Gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit to make disciples of all the nations.
In the Gospels, there are several snapshots that one could look at in order to learn how Jesus ministered to people. One of my favorite Gospel accounts is John 4. In John 4 Jesus goes out of his way to meet a Samaritan woman at the well. As the woman encounters Jesus, He uses questions designed to expose her need for Himself. In the course of the conversation, the woman learns that the One talking with her is none other than Jesus Christ, the Promise Messiah (John 4:25-29). Effective evangelism begins with meeting people where they are in order to share with them the Life-giving Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ—His life, death, burial and resurrection.
The story of the woman at the well also illustrates that the one engaging in evangelism ought not to see oneself as better than others (John 4:27). Christians are often accused of being “holier than thou” but Jesus ministers His grace to the woman at the well regardless of who she was or what she had done. In the end the woman was confronted by the reality of who Jesus is and her life was so radically changed that she went back to her town, and called people to “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” (John 4:29) and “They went out of the town and were coming to him.” (John 4:30). Jesus had such an impact on the woman that she eagerly went to share the news among the townspeople whom she had previously avoided because of her reputation. Her witness and candor regarding her own life so impressed them that the came to see Jesus for themselves.
Effective evangelism begins and ends with knowing Jesus and making Him known. Jesus’ declaration “It is finished” is now not only the foundation for our life in Christ, but also our proclamation to the nations. The believer has been empowered by the Holy Spirit to do the work of an evangelist and to make disciples. The believer has been equipped with spiritual gifts, talents and abilities to make known the Gospel. In every way the Lord has supplied for man’s every need in order to fulfill His mission of seeking, ransoming, reconciling, justifying, shaping and forming a people, a holy nation for the sake of His own name and glory.
Will you stand on the sidelines and watch as the Lord uses others in mighty ways or will you join God and live on mission in the great task of evangelism? Effective evangelism begins and ends with your growth in understanding who Jesus is and what He has done. The believer will never know everything, but Jesus has given the believer His Word to know who He is and what He has done in order to declare forth eternal life in His name and in His power.
Paul near the end of his life charged Timothy in 2nd Timothy 4:5, “As for you,always be sober-minded,endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist,fulfill your ministry.” Your level of effectiveness in evangelism or any ministry directly relates to how seriously you take your own spiritual growth and personal holiness. Effective evangelism and ministry is the result of a life that has been saturated in the Gospel of God and the Word of God.
Dave Jenkins is happily married to his wife, Sarah. He is a writer, editor, and speaker living in beautiful Southern Oregon. Dave is a lover of Christ, His people, the Church, and sound theology. He serves as the Executive Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, the Executive Editor of Theology for Life Magazine, the Host and Producer of Equipping You in Grace Podcast, and is a contributor to and producer of Contending for the Word. He is the author of The Word Explored: The Problem of Biblical Illiteracy and What To Do About It (House to House, 2021), The Word Matters: Defending Biblical Authority Against the Spirit of the Age (G3 Press, 2022), and Contentment: The Journey of a Lifetime (Theology for Life, 2024). You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, or read his newsletter. Dave loves to spend time with his wife, going to movies, eating at a nice restaurant, or going out for a round of golf with a good friend. He is also a voracious reader, in particular of Reformed theology, and the Puritans. You will often find him when he’s not busy with ministry reading a pile of the latest books from a wide variety of Christian publishers. Dave received his M.A.R. and M.Div through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.