Jesus’ calling of His first disciples in Mark 1:17, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men,” reveals that maturity in Jesus cannot be achieved apart from living out the mission of Jesus. So, here are five starting points for equipping the saints for evangelism.
1. Start with the example of Jesus
Jesus’ example in Mark 1:17 establishes that the best method of equipping people for evangelism is inviting them to join you in evangelizing. Do we have a lifestyle of evangelism into which we can invite others?
When Jesus makes the statement, “I will make you become fishers of men,” He is taking responsibility for equipping them. As followers of Jesus, we have the incomprehensible joy of not only fishing, but teaching others how to fish as well.
Will you embrace the responsibility of setting an example in evangelism? Will you commit to equipping at least one other person?
2. Set a time
Priorities that do not make it to our calendars seldom become patterns of our lives. Scheduling a time when, on a typical week, you will intentionally evangelize helps in at least two ways.
First, it provides gentle accountability. Second, it also makes it easier to
designated for intentional evangelism? Are you inviting others to join you? Will you schedule opportunities for evangelism training?
3. Help new believers start immediately
In Everyday Evangelism, Matt Queen insists, “If believers have known enough of the gospel to be saved by it, then they will know enough of the gospel to share it with others.” When we suggest to new believers that they are not ready to share their faith, they often never feel adequately equipped. Therefore, when discipling a new believer, the first session is a review of the gospel, using a simple inductive outline.
Then, I ask two questions. Do you feel like you could walk someone else through these same questions? With whom will you share this week?
Guess what the first question is the next time we meet for discipleship? You’ll be asked who you shared with and how did it go!
4. Start closest to home
Often when a person comes to Christ, most of their friends and family members are still lost. Think about the man in Mark 5 who has been miraculously saved and set free from a legion of demons. Of course, he wanted to get into the boat with Jesus! But v.10a says, However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, ‘Go home to your friends and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you.'”
Who among your friends or family need to hear the Good News? Will you make time this week to start a conversation?
5. Keep it going!
Mark 5:20 tells us that not only did this man joyfully share with friends and family, but also throughout the region! Would you like to grow and to help others grow in personal evangelism? Your evangelism team has developed a great resource entitled, “Growing in Personal Evangelism.” It provides 20 action steps for growing in evangelistic faithfulness.
You can download the workbook and find other evangelism ministry resources at kybaptist.org/resources.
Feel free to email or call me to discuss ways our team can help you or your church at rob.patterson@ kybaptist.org or (606) 765-9176.
Rob Patterson is team leader for evangelism with the Kentucky Baptist Convention.