Sharing our faith through the work of evangelism is one of the core identifying marks of a follower of Jesus.
In Matthew 28:18-20 we see Jesus telling his earliest followers to go and make disciples. In the book of Acts, he empowers them to begin making disciples by sending the Holy Spirit. From the very beginning, Jesus creates a multiplying movement and invites us to follow him in his mission to reach the lost.
We walk in the shoes of this movement today. From wherever we are when we meet Jesus for the first time, we move forward in followership every day and ideally, we invite others to join us on our journey.
Yet 95% of believers try to do evangelism in our own power
We forget that before the arrival of the Holy Spirit in Acts, Jesus commands his followers to wait until the Holy Spirit arrived on the scene. Why did Jesus do this? Without the active empowering of the Holy Spirit, our evangelism efforts will fail to produce much fruit!
If we do see some results, it’s usually either so exhausting to continue manufacturing the amount of energy it takes to keep moving forward, or we see brief lightning strike moments. Both are unrepeatable and unsustainable.
We need a better evangelism strategy. We need the Holy Spirit’s empowering presence every time we share the gospel!
Make the shift toward empowerment
How do we begin to shift toward an empowered evangelism mindset? Based on what we have seen and experienced through our decades-long ministry, we recommend that we all follow these steps:
- We pause. We learn to wait and listen. When opportunities to share the gospel arise, we learn to ask the Holy Spirit: what are you up to here? Are you at work? How can I join you? Do you want me to join you?
- We become known as people who are for others, we actually learn to like other human beings, including those who are far from God. We see them not as projects, but as future brothers and sisters in Christ.
- We move toward the people around us, finding tangible ways to serve and bless them.
- We join community and become part of a particular group. When we take this step, others stop seeming like “those people” and together we start being “us.” We work out what church needs to look like to reach that specific context, to be incarnated into that time and place.
- We learn to create communications bridges that honor the dialects and vocabularies of the people around us. The message of the gospel remains the same, but we as missionaries do the hard work of cross-cultural translation.
- As we go, we see people become disciples of Jesus, and thus the Holy Spirit comes to live in them, and so the multiplication effect increases.
Intentionally stepping into the active empowering of the Spirit and taking the above steps is not a set of activities set aside just for pastors or mature Christians. In fact, this is intended by Jesus to be part of our everyday disciple-making, no matter where we live, what we do professionally, or what season of life we find ourselves in.
Be guided by the Holy Spirit
From here, we encourage you to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you reflect upon three questions:
- What does evangelism look like for you personally?
- How can you make evangelism more Holy Spirit empowered?
- What next step can you take today to more intentionally follow the Spirit?
Pray for empowerment from the Spirit
A prayer for all of us as we close:
We thank you that you love to reach lost friends and neighbors and people we run into far more than we do. We pray that we would be empowered by you to lean into you.
Would you fill each of us afresh with the Holy Spirit?
Would you release boldness and holy, humble confidence in you?
May we be trained by you on how to lead into the power of the Holy Spirit.
May we respond in your supernatural grace, and wisdom, and gifts.
Encourage us to keep moving forward.
We pray this with great confidence and boldness, in the mighty name of Jesus.
Alex and Hannah Absalom equip Christians for naturally supernatural discipleship and mission through consulting and resources. Connect with them at Dandelion Resourcing and at our global conference in Orlando.