What Not to Do in Evangelism.
Presenting one’s religious confession first, instead of presenting Jesus Christ
With the multitude of religious confessions, the observation to be made is that it becomes difficult to speak of Jesus Christ first. Presenting one’s confession is not a bad thing. However, presenting one’s church without presenting Jesus is not always wise, as it may risk ending the conversation prematurely.
In fact, the way Jesus Christ is presented intrinsically reveals the religious confession. It is ideal for the religious confession we carry to be in the background of our discussion, except in cases where it is specifically requested by the person concerned or as guided by the Holy Spirit.
From personal experience, I am familiar with a religious confession from my home country that engages in door-to-door evangelism. Simply by their presentation, there are fewer people who receive them and give them their time. This is because this religious confession does not allow Jesus Christ to be identified through them; instead, they have put Jesus Christ in the background, which hinders their effectiveness.
How does one end up presenting their church without truly presenting Jesus? This happens when, for example, you approach a soul, and once you discover that they have never given their life to Jesus, you begin by saying, “If you come to our church ‘X,’ your life will change. Please give your life to Jesus, and I even invite you to our Sunday service.” Make sure that if this person says, YES, I give my life to Christ, it is almost certainly a YES wanting to discover what is in your church from the perspective of material blessings.
This is already a misstep. It is very important to present Jesus Christ – who He is and His noble mission on Earth among humanity, He who was in Heaven with the Father before descending and ascending. If we focus on Jesus and Jesus alone, it creates an appetite to explore the religious confession.
Believing that you have a monopoly on knowledge of the Word of God
When facing a soul, the first thing an evangelist must do is ensure that they are spiritually well-equipped. Additionally, they must work on their character to avoid frustrating the person they are speaking to. They should understand that they are dealing with someone they do not know. Therefore, there is no point in showing that you know everything or pretending to know everything. The ideal is to have a solid foundation and use it wisely.
When you pretend to know everything, pray that the Holy Spirit can remind you, as it is written, “men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit… I no longer live, but Christ lives in me…” 2 Peter 2:21
Considering oneself superior to the person encountered
It was because of his humility and faithfulness that God spoke to Moses face to face and clearly. Christ, in great humility, was sovereignly exalted by God. Regardless of your knowledge or position, an evangelist should never become a predator or an incarnated spiritual authority. Keep a low profile, show humility, and give more consideration to the soul you are trying to win. This is a way to fade away so that Christ can be revealed.
Minimizing the faith of other religious confessions
Mutual respect demands a high level of consideration. Disparaging the faith of others disqualifies you as an Ambassador of Christ. Respecting the faith of others is a sign of maturity. Presenting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior to a Catholic does not mean saying, “The Catholic Church, you are idolaters.”
Presenting Jesus to a Muslim is not just about telling them, “You won’t see heaven…” Respecting the faith of others does not mean that Jesus Christ ceases to be Lord and Savior, nor does it detract from your authentic Christian life. In fact, when you respect the religious confession of others, it gives you easy access to present the truth.
This is the goal to pursue so that darkness is dispelled and light shines to enlighten their mind, soul, and heart. However, it is important to note that respecting the faith of others does not mean accepting their perspective. Don’t become a judge of what the person tells you or mock the person.
Here, everything revolves around our language and gestures. In most of the speeches that Christ delivered during His moments of evangelism, one can feel an overwhelming amount of love. Like the famous words of Jesus, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” Jesus, the only one who had the authority to judge the woman, and she probably expected a severe sentence, but to her great surprise, Jesus revealed His heart of love, overflowing with compassion.
An evangelist is not a judge or an attorney. Rather, they are like a firefighter, providing eternal solutions in Jesus Christ.
Believing that you are holier than others
Today, the Church, the body of Christ, no longer witnesses miraculous conversions as Jesus did with Simon and the early Church. This is because there are many hypocrites and proud individuals in the Church. Therefore, systematic reluctance has settled in the hearts of those to be won.
An evangelist is not a perfect saint, but a person who has found grace with God and has the mission to testify to that grace so that others may receive the gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ. Anyone who considers themselves holier than others in the act of winning souls to Christ is abandoning the work of the cross. If we are holier than others, then what is the purpose of the cross, and why did we accept Jesus into our lives?
Presenting the problem to others without presenting the solution
Often, when a brother or sister is in front of a soul to win, they present the problem and its gravity without presenting the solution. Sometimes, even Jesus Christ is presented without explaining the purpose and reason for His mission and the solution He offers. Telling someone that the life they are leading will lead them to hell or death, without presenting Jesus as the solution to all their problems, is merely informing them of things they may already know. What matters is showing the person how to overcome issues like masturbation, fornication, theft, or lying, etc. In short, whatever difficult situation they are going through.
Telling lies or false testimonies about one’s own life or church to impress
Nowhere in the Bible did Christ tell a lie to attract a crowd. He taught what the Father communicated to Him and did not misrepresent His identity to fulfill His mission. Therefore, an evangelist, being a disciple of Christ, should follow in the footsteps of their Master. Never use any denomination to grab a person’s attention.
Lies, in all their forms, have the devil as their father. Thus, the evangelist should be careful not to fall into the devil’s trap. Any relationship built on lies carries a diabolical seed. Deceiving a soul so that they give their life to Jesus is recruiting a candidate whose spiritual life is perishable in a short time.
Doing things based on experience
Experience is important in any line of work. However, in the work of God, it is less wise to rely solely on past experiences. Nowhere did Christ perform miracles by focusing on what He had already accomplished, even though He had the ability. Every time we engage in the work of God, it opens up a new reality.
Here, only the Holy Spirit should dominate as the teammate on the field. The more experience dominates, the more you miss the essentials.
Experience undermines the life of sanctification and consecration. Believing that we can achieve the same feats as in the past, ignoring that today’s challenges are not the same size as those of the past or the future. If winning a soul is a challenge in the devil’s camp, then know that every time the devil multiplies his efforts based on your experiences to block your path.
This text is an extract from the book “SAVED TO SAVE: It is now” written by JOSHUA KIPULU KISUNGU.