Evangelism and discipleship are two of the essential priorities of the church. During Jesus’s last encounter with his disciples, he commissioned them to go into the world and make disciples (Matthew 28:19). Instead of keeping God to ourselves, we share him with others. The sharing of our faith helps grow our relationship with God.
As we continue to share our faith, the reality of all that belongs to us because of Jesus sinks in more and more. We grow in the knowledge of who God is and who he says we are, and our witness becomes even more effective. We grow as we give God away; it’s a beautiful cycle. It’s also what Paul prayed for his friend Philemon. In his letter to Philemon, Paul prays that as Philemon shares his faith with others, he would continue to grow and be an effective witness for Jesus (Philemon 1:6).
Through the Gospels, we see how much Jesus loved people. We see it in his compassionate healings, his championing of outcasts, and his involvement in restoring sinners to God. Now that Jesus is in heaven, he has entrusted us with this work of reconciliation by sharing his good news with others (2 Corinthians 5:19). We are now his representatives on earth, inviting people to join God’s kingdom and enjoy Jesus forever.
As we grow in our relationship with God, our love for people grows also. Evangelism looks like more than preaching a sermon or sharing a brochure or even participating in a short-term mission trip. While words are necessary to communicating the gospel, evangelism is also about what we do. We share God every day by the way we live, letting our God-influenced actions mark us as his children. God gives us opportunities to display his character among people who don’t yet share our faith. We maintain our composure in front of a boss who flies off the handle. We cook food and run errands for a sick neighbor. We apologize when we have offended someone.
We model what it means to be a disciple and show others how Jesus’s presence affects every part of our lives. As we continue to mature on our spiritual journey, we make more room for God and have a great capacity to reflect Jesus. And as our neighbors see us living out our salvation, we pray that it creates a longing for him in their hearts.