A clear voice, friendly smile, and sincere attitude are helpful when evangelizing. But it takes more than a warm personality and good command of language to be an effective witness of the gospel. Here are three things to strive for when evangelizing – things that go beyond presentation and will in fact have an impact on your own life.
Sorrow over sin
When we stand on our own merit, there is an infinite gulf between us and God. This is the result of sin. Sin is anything that does not meet God’s standard of what is good and right. It can be as heinous as murder or as seemingly harmless as gluttony. No matter the form it takes, sin permeates our lives. It affects everything about us. Hard as we may try, we cannot meet God’s basic standard of goodness. We cannot have pure motives, pure thoughts, or pure desires. A Christian who understands what this means and feels the reality of this every day has an appropriate sorrow over sin – and when evangelizing, the reality of sin is communicated clearly in this light. There should be no flippancy or “it’s no big deal” attitude when a Christian speaks about sin.
The joy of the Lord
The fact that the infinite gulf between us and God caused by sin has been bridged by the infinite sacrifice of Jesus Christ should be the primary source of joy for the Christian. No longer is the Christian an enemy of God, but is reconciled to God as a child – a degree of closeness not even the angels can boast (Colossians 1:21). While this does not take away a Christian’s sorrow over persisting sin and the sinful nature of humanity, it provides a deep and abiding happiness that cannot be taken away. When a Christian evangelizes, they should evangelize as a child of the King with whom they were once enemies.
Trust in God’s will
Christians who seek to evangelize must grasp hold of this very important fact: they cannot save anyone. The part we play in evangelism is messenger and witness, not savior. Christians must wholeheartedly trust in God’s perfect will to save. Without this trust, we will have a false sense of emergency and a weight on our shoulders that does not belong to us. And when those who we are evangelizing see this, they will view God as a weak God who cannot save without help. We don’t want to misrepresent our Father, so we must trust His will and let this trust flavor our speech.