BET YOU CAN GUESS WHAT EVANGELOPHOBIC MEANS!
Evangelophobia, or a fear of sharing the Gospel, is a very common ailment among Christians of all ages and persuasions. While some phobias may never be completely overcome treatment can help a person to function effectively. The Holy Spirit is the therapist for this. We hope you will find our offering helpful also.
Matthew 28: 18-20 And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’ NRSV
Jesus has called all Christians to do evangelism. The only people who are excused, excluded or exempted from the call to evangelism are those who do not believe the Gospels and are not followers of Jesus Christ.
Evangelism is a central theme in the New Testament as it is the act of sharing with another person the message of how we have been reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. Evangelism must always involve both the use of words, in order to tell the story of God’s love in Christ, and a life whose deeds mirror our love and trust in our Lord. We tell the Good News of Jesus Christ to those who do not know him so that they may become open to having a change of heart and mind and becoming believers. However, while all adult Christians are responsible for telling the story of God’s love, a change of heart and mind can only be brought about by the Holy Spirit. Remembering this can help one overcome evangelophobia.
We call the person who has had a change from indifference or unbelief a “convert”. It is not enough though to remain just a convert so Jesus tells us to help these converts become his disciples, or people who know and follow his teachings. Discipleship is the process that trains believers to grow and live out God’s mission in the world.
The term “mission” means both sending and an important assignment being carried out. It is God’s mission or purpose for the world that through Jesus Christ all things will be healed and made new in accordance with God’s design. The Church is the instrument used by God on behalf of the world so that God’s mission will be fulfilled. In other words, our mission is to invest ourselves in God’s mission.
Evangelism, discipleship and mission are linked together so that the Gospel can be spread and lived out throughout the entire world. One must have people in order to make disciples who then do God’s mission in the world. Each Christian must undertake all three actions, in varying degrees and in a variety of ways, so that the result is that God’s purposes for the universe are fulfilled and the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are worshipped and glorified.
If you do believe the Gospels and have been actively involved in intentional evangelism, continue and be assured that you are on the right path. If you are a believer but are not presently involved, start by developing a plan for personal and/or corporate evangelism. It is not difficult to become involved helping others become believers and then the disciples God wants.
Pray for Guidance.
Pray for Opportunity.
These prayers will definitely be answered!
If it has been a while since you visited the denomination’s Evangelism and Church Growth webpage, now would be the time to do so as there are fine new resources available. If you want to exchange information or would like support as you develop plans, or work on other projects, feel free to contact us.
Evangelism Team Co-Coordinators,
Leslie Fox & Maxine Neel