The purpose of knowing the effective approaches to evangelism is to enable those; who want to take on the task of spreading the gospel message to understand what it is all about.
First and foremost, I thank God, Who through His divine will and providence; called and entrusted this gospel work for me to do.
And as Saint Paul would introduce himself to the people in the province of Gaul i.e. Galatians; I am proud in Christ to follow suit by saying; ‘my call to be an evangelist did not come from human beings or by human means.
That is to say, I wasn’t ordained by any Christian denomination; as some wont to say.
But it was the mercy and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and God the Father, Who raised Him from death; that saved me from the sinful lifestyle I lived in the years back and gave me this divine ordination.’
But then, there is no way I can be going about in this ministry doing my gospel work without motivating, encouraging, and making the truth revealed to me, by Christ; available to those I share the same office with
That is, my co-evangelists; especially those ordained by the hands and ways of men, and wait on them for instructions and directions; on how to run the gospel work Jesus gives to them.
And the only way I can do so for now is to help them all understand what are the keys to effective evangelism.
6 Effective approaches to evangelism.
Below are the 6 effective approaches to evangelism:
- Understand the means of conversion in the early church.
- Evangelists should be mindful of how they associate with sinners.
- Traveling the world to preach (missionary).
- See the church as many parts of one body in Christ.
- Evangelists should be allowed to preach in any denomination.
- Advice and encourage one another.
1. Understand the means of conversion in the early church.
It will be hard for us to have an effective approach to evangelism if we don’t take our minds back to the days of the early church.
And in so doing get the understanding that evangelists used to share the same office with; the apostles, who were considered to be guiding the church through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Others who shared that same office were: the prophets, the teachers, and the pastors. In other words, these five sets of Christian clergies; the apostles, evangelists, prophets, teachers, and pastors were considered to be sharing one and the same office.
It is also worthy to note that they generally were not used to be identified or associated with a particular church; since their duty was to render general services to all the churches of God scattered abroad. In other words, they were not ruled or governed by any church authority; and at such were considered free from all men.
And also they did not impose their freedom on anybody; rather they made themselves the servant of all by associating with all manners of people; notwithstanding race, religion, or cultural background.
And this they did in order to be able to teach people the truth and win them over to Christ. Paul, who himself was a fore runner of the gospel; made this knowledge available to us in his first letter to the Corinthians:
Bible verse about God ordaining evangelists Himself.
For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews;
To those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law towards Christ), that I might win those who are without law.
To the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak, I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospels sake, that I may be partaker of it with you. 1 Corinthians 9:19-23
Even Christ Himself, Who handed down this work of evangelism to us, used effective keys to convert people.
Now let’s see what transpired when the teachers of the Jewish law and the Pharisees; tried to criticize Him for doing so:
After these things He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “follow me.” And he left all, rose up, and followed him.
Then Levi gave him a feasts in his own house. And there were a great number of tax collectors and others who sat down with them.
But their scribes and the Pharisees murmured against His disciples, saying, “why do You eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” and Jesus answered and said to them, “those who are well do not need a physician, but those who are sick.
“I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Luke 5:27-32.
2. Evangelists should be mindful of how they associate with sinners.
One of the keys to effective evangelism is for evangelists to be mindful of how they associate with sinners or unbelievers as we like to call them.
This is because they, as preachers; are to set good examples for those they want to convert to follow. And for that reason, they must try as much as possible to practice all that they preach to the people.
Let us see how Paul concluded this sub-heading on what are the keys to effective evangelism for us in his epistles to the Corinthians:
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the price? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.
And everyone who competes for the price is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.
Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty.
Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others I myself should become disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.
3. Traveling the world to preach (missionary).
In the history of the early church, the most important aspect of this office i.e. their most important duty; was that of travelling the world over to spread the gospel message to people from every works of life.
Either in their homes or in public places; and in so doing won new converts and add more number to the churches.
Because of this task, they were considered to be given special gifts; and to be displaying the supernatural powers of God by way of signs and wonders.
And above all, they were the ones whom God entrusted with the raw message of salvation; that was capable of bringing people to repentance.
An example can be seen in Acts 8:4-13 where, Philip, the evangelist; went down to Samaria to preach the gospel and performed signs and wonders which converted so many people including Simon, the magician; who used to astonish people with his magical skills and tricks to the extent that the people in that city considered him to possess the great power of God.
And of course, seeing someone like Simon believing the gospel of Christ, through Philip; and being converted, many other people could not wait but massively surrender their lives to Christ.
Bible verse about gifts given to evangelists.
Paul made this point clearer to us in Ephesians 4:11-16:
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers.
For the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God.
To a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine.
By the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him Who is the head—Christ—from Whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies.
According to effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
As we can all see from the above scripture, these groups were given these special gifts; so they could be able to render Gods service in all the churches or denominations we have today; which are different parts of Christ’s body; working together to edify the Head of the whole church, Who is Christ.
And the most important thing we should note here is that; the Holy Spirit selected these group of believers in order to give them the task of bringing people to the knowledge of the truth.
So as to prevent them from being tossed to and fro and carried about by false doctrines which the false teachers were bringing into Christendom to deceive.
Paul again emphasized this fact in his letter to the Romans:
For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function. so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. (Romans 12:4-8).
4. See the church as many parts of one body in Christ.
It is time for Christians to understand that when Paul was writing the above texts; he did not refer to a particular church that has many members as ‘being many, are one body in Christ’; rather he was referring to the members of all the churches which were established as Christianity was spreading everywhere.
And in case you never knew, there were so many churches in Rome where Paul wrote the above epistle to.
Thus, when Paul titled it ‘epistle to the Romans’; we know that he was referring to all the Christians in all the churches that was established in Rome. You will see evidence in Romans 16:5 where he writes:
‘likewise greet the church that is in their house…
Another example is the book of Galatians, which was not written to a particular church; because Galatians comes from the Latin word Galationus, meaning Gaul; which was a province that had many communities where many churches were established.
For more confirmation, study Paul’s introductory rites in the book of Ephesians; where we took one of our texts above and you will realize that he wasn’t writing to a particular church:
“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 1:1
Therefore one of the keys to effective evangelism is for Christians (evangelist) to learn how to always see the church; as many parts of the one body of Christ, consists of many different parts that houses millions of cells.
Which allegorically means all the Christian denominations, and their members in the whole wide world; the Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Apostolic etc.
And all of them link to the head, Who is Christ Himself. And for this reason, it is all the churches and their members that are to proclaim; “though we are many, we are one body in Christ”.
Having come to the knowledge of this truth, we can now understand that the evangelists, apostles, prophets, pastors and teachers; should not be people who belong to a particular denomination.
Because they hold the mentality of ‘I am proud to be a Catholic’ or ‘Apostolic church; one fold, one shepherd’ ‘united Methodist church’ etc.
Rather they should be people who can enter any of the churches anytime, anywhere and render their Godly service; depending on the gifts they are individually given.
But is that ever possible in today’s Christendom where the body of Christ remains divided?
How division began in the early church.
To further understand the effective approaches to evangelism, let us see how division began in the Corinthians church and how Paul tried to prevent it:
Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or ‘I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 1 Corinthians 1:10-13
But what Paul tried to prevent in the Corinthians church got out of hand when the greatest division; which we witness till today, began with the ‘Reformation Mentality’.
When Martin Luther, John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, and others established Protestantism, after leaving or ignoring the Roman Catholic; and from thence came the uncountable denominations we have today.
And because of division in the body of Christ most of today’s evangelists, apostles, prophets, pastors and teachers have really been cut off from their root.
That is to say, majority of them are only bearing these names but not doing the duties or services associated with them.
And this stems from the fact that the division in Christendom has greatly affected these set of believers.
Because none of the other denominations will ever allow them to preside over any service; if they are not a member; and most importantly, if their ordination is in a different denomination i.e. according to the ways and doctrines of men.
In other words, it is impossible to find any church that will allow people from this offices to stand out and preach or prophecy, teach or render any service according to their gifts, if they are not a pastor in that particular church.
The second problem is that those who receive ordination into these five offices; by their respective denominations do not understand their greatest duty.
Which is that of going out to preach to people from all works of life, either in the open air or from house to house, in order to bring them to the knowledge of the truth and add more numbers to Christendom.
5. Evangelists should be allowed to preach in any denomination.
As usual, one of the keys to effective evangelism is that Evangelist should be allowed to preach in any denomination.
That’s why I humbly beg the church government, with due respect to the elders, deacons, bishops, synods, districts, parishes, boards, councils, assemblies, and delegates, etc.
To allow their ordained evangelists, apostles, prophets, pastors and teachers to go out of their church denomination and use their special gifts to render services in other denominations, as well as permit those from other denominations to also do same in theirs.
Below are some of the reasons why we should allow this.
1. To motivate the evangelists to do their work of winning souls.
We need to allow the evangelists do their work of winning souls for Christ, anyway they choose or can, because the highest power in Christendom resides in evangelism.
“Behold I give you authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Luke 10:19.
2. They are the ones with the revelation of the truth.
I also beg us to welcome into our denominations those who maintains the root of this ministry, by being free from all men.
Because these are the ones Christ has given the revelation of the gospel truth.
Saint Paul, who was one like us, noted to the Galatians when they rose up against him claiming he wasn’t among the twelve and therefore wasn’t taught by Jesus:
But I make known to you brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ. Galatians 1:11.
So therefore, let all of us in this ministry keep our conscience free, by not selling the word of truth entrusted to us:
For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ. 2 Corinthians 2:17
And also abstain from every manner of sin and falsehood:
But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 2 Corinthians 4:1-3
While we diligently keep up the task given to us according to our gifts, bearing all the loads and burdens involved, and carrying all the crosses offered or forcefully given to us by the enemies of Christ, as they did to Simon of Cyrene, and follow Christ Jesus:
(We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down but not destroyed – always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 2 Corinthians 4:8-11
And let us always remember that there is a permanent home we are going to when our sojourn and pilgrimage on this earth is over:
For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heaven. 2 Corinthians 5:1.
6. To defeat the false prophets.
One of the keys to effective evangelism is for evangelist to work towards defeating the false prophets.
And for this reason, we need to constantly remind ourselves of all the prophecies of Jesus and His early apostles, about the false prophets; who will appear to destroy our religion with false teachings and doctrines, have been fulfilling these days.
The worst is that people are more eager to listen to them than us; and even though they do not go out to evangelize, their churches are always fill with members.
But let us have no problem because we know that: “broad is the way that so many enter while narrow is the gate that only a few find” (Mathew 7:13-14).
And from there you will understand with me that these multitudes only flocks into these churches because they allow them to dress anyhow and behave as they chose; claiming that God looks at the heart and not the outward appearance.
They think that they are saved by grace and not by obeying the teachings of Jesus Christ.
And also, because they are seeking for signs and wonders, which the false prophets’ fakery performs, they have their minds geared towards worldly pleasures and things, which last but for a while. And in them, these prophecies are fulfilled:
Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. Mathew 24:11
The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all will be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. 1 John 4:5
Also it is because of these kinds of ‘so-called Christians’ that people have the privilege to open their mouths and say whatever they like about our religion as Peter noted in 2 Peter 2:1-3
So for this reason, the Father is more than ready to reveal the truth more and more to us who are willing to carry the cross and follow in the footsteps of Christ.
So that we could be able to rise up and join Christ in defeating and throwing out the lawless one who is now sitting in the temple of our God claiming to be God. And using all his fake teachers, whom he transforms into angels of light as he himself is also transform, to deceive the people.
And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. 2 Corinthians 11:14-15
7. Advice and encourage one another.
Finally, as co-workers in Christ Jesus: evangelists, apostles, prophets, pastors, and teachers; who are ready and willing to fight and save our religion, not with carnal weapons, but through the sword of the Spirit which is the word of truth; let us advice and encourage each other with the same words that Paul encouraged his co-worker Timothy.
Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 2 Timothy 4:2-5
And see this evangelical work as a do-or-die affair in which we must all partake or be accurse:
For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel! 1 Corinthians 9:16
Above all else, let us remind ourselves all the time that we will give accounts of how we use those special gifts the Creator gives to us when we finally appear before Him on the judgment day.
So then each of us shall give account of ourselves to God. Romans 14:12.