Interview with Pastor Bobby on evangelism
1. Why is evangelism so crucial for every Christian, not just the pastors and elders?
It is so crucial because it is the only way that Jesus had prescribed - that a person should reach out to another person. Jesus' mandate for His followers (everyone who is a believer; not just pastors, elders or evangelists, so on and so forth) is that "as you go, you are to make disciples of all nations, by baptizing them (in the name of the Father, son and Holy Spirit), and teaching them (to obey everything that Jesus had commanded).
2. Why is evangelism so difficult for us? How can we overcome these problems?
We are overcome by fear - of ridicule, of rejection, of retaliation, and many more.
How can we overcome these? Ask yourself this question as you share the gospel: "Who is your greatest supporter?" It is none other than Jesus Himself. Jesus begins His mandate to make disciples by declaring that "all authority in heaven and on earth has been given him" and ends with "I am with you always, to the end of the age."
You know what that means?
Who is your greatest supporter as you obey the Great Commission? Jesus, the risen King! The universal authority of the risen King and the ongoing presence of the risen King. Authority is different from Power. when a small-built policeman (has authority) waves his hand, the powerful truck (has power) stops without arguing.
Now this risen King Jesus has both the Authority and the Power - can you imagine what Jesus can do and if he is your greatest supporter, can you imagine what he can do through you?
3. What can the average church member do at work and home to do evangelism?
Firstly, be clear about what "gospel" means. Gospel is "good news", not mere announcement. It is the herald of good news. And what is this good news? Four stages of God's plan: Creation / Fall / Redemption / Consummation.
Secondly, be familiar (internalize, not memorize) with the key passages of Scripture - John 3:16; Romans 3:23-25; Romans 6:23;
Acts 4:12 and Mark 10:45 should be at the finger-tips of every believer. Obviously, there are many other passages in the bible that you should be familiar with, if you are serious about following after Jesus and allowing him to make you a fisher of men.
4. How can church members get more involved in evangelism through the church
The starting point is prayer. God's work is supernatural (spiritual) work. "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." (Ephesians 6:12).
When you pray, God grant you the assurance and peace and a whole lot more of cognizance that he indeed, will go with you and he will personally lead you to the someone or anyone - God has already prepared for you to meet the person that God wants to have the gospel preached to.
Secondly, look out for like-minded people who shares this burden and again, get together to pray and ask God to show you what He has in mind. Don't wait for the pastor or elder or church leadership to tell you. Go ahead and try but trusting God to show the way.
Thirdly, start a small group of people to study God's word but with an intentional bent to invite others, not keep to your own select group of people. When these people are comfortable in your small group, and you have established friendship and trust with them, invite them to our church's Seekers' Class and they can begin to study more in-depth the truths of the bible and Isaiah 55:11 assures us that when God's word is proclaimed, three things will happen (i) his word shall not return to him empty, (ii) it shall accomplish God's purpose and (iii) shall succeed in the thing for which God sent it.
5. How should every church member pray for evangelism?
Study Matthew 9:35-38 (why was Jesus filled with compassion when he sees the people harassed and helpless?" and Jesus tells us that we should pray the Lord of the harvest to send labourers into the harvest field." Study John 4:35 "Do not say, There are yet four months, then comes the harvest? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that the sower an dreaper may rejoice together."
What to pray for? I suggest that you pray that God will use believers in GBC to be his witnesses both within MacPherson and beyond. If you pray like that, you can be assured that God will send laborers (in GBC) into the harvest fields just a stone's throw from our premise.
In closing, let me state that the motivation for evangelism hinges of our love (we love him because he first loved us) for God and not our fear (of reprisal) of God. God is not obligated to "use" us for his work; he can choose anyone besides you.