I recently ran across an old article about the characteristics of people who are successful in Sharing Jesus with people who are not yet Christians. At the end of the article the author said something that was very convicting to me personally:
Sometimes we ask the question “What is my church doing to become more evangelistic?” But the better question is “What am I doing to become more evangelistic?”
It’s a great question for ME! What am I doing to become more evangelistic? What am I doing to increase my ability, comfort, and possibly even success in Sharing Jesus with others? (Important Lutheran Caveat: We believe that people cannot by their own reason or strength come to Jesus or believe in Him, but that the Holy Spirit calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth…in other words, I know this isn’t my doing, it’s God’s doing; however, it is also important to note that God uses people to do this. And, just as I might become a better preacher, teacher, pastor, father, husband, doctor, farmer, or whatever with practice and experience, I might become a better Sharer of the Word of God if I practice and learn from those who already do it well.)
In the article, author Thom Rainer, suggests seven habits of people who are highly effective in Sharing Jesus. Over the next seven weeks I’m going to investigate each one, practice them, and see if I might actually learn how to do the important ministry of Sharing Jesus even better. I’ll attempt to update this blog on my progress as I go…feel free to join along. Here is the summary of the seven characteristics that I want to make a part of my life as a disciple of Jesus:
1. They are people of prayer. They realize that only God can convict and convert, and they are totally dependent upon Him in prayer. Most of the highly evangelistic Christians spend at least an hour in prayer each day.
2. They have a theology that compels them to evangelize. They believe in the urgency of the gospel message. They believe that Christ is the only way of salvation. They believe that anyone without Christ is doomed for a literal hell.
3. They are people who spend time in the Word. The more time they spend in the Bible, the more likely they are to see the lostness of humanity and the love of God in Christ to save those who are lost.
4. They are compassionate people. Their hearts break for those who don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. They have learned to love the world by becoming more like Christ who has the greatest love for the world.
5. They love the communities where God has placed them. They are immersed in the culture because they desire for the light of Christ to shine through them in their communities.
6. They are intentional about evangelism. They pray for opportunities to share the gospel. They look for those opportunities. And they see many so-called casual encounters as appointments set by God.
7. They are accountable to someone for their evangelistic activities. They know that many good activities can replace Great Commission activities if they are not careful. Good can replace the best. So they make certain that someone holds them accountable each week, either formally or informally, for their evangelistic efforts.
This week I’ll start with #1…Prayer…an hour a day? I’m on my way to googlecalendar to make some appointments with God…