I have heard people say that Christians should not need to be trained to share Jesus with lost people. The justification of this view is mainly that we do not need to be trained to talk about other things that we love, like Kentucky basketball, our children and grandchildren, or a new gun, car, or motorcycle. While I appreciate the sentiment behind this view I believe the view itself is shortsighted and misinformed. There are at least three solid reasons believers need to be trained to share Christ with lost people.
1. Because personal evangelism involves spiritual warfare.
When I talk about my children, or my favorite hobby, or better yet my favorite place to get a great cheeseburger, there is little if any spiritual warfare involved in this conversation because there is little at risk spiritually. When I, however, open my mouth to tell a hell-bound sinner how he/she can be saved from the wrath of God because of the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ then the powers of the devil and his demons will no doubt move to stop this conversation from happening, or at lease minimize the impact of it (Mark 4:15).
Nik Ripken, in his book “The Insanity of God,”says, “What is Satan’s paramount intent? Quite simply it is this: denying the world access to Jesus!” One reason believers must be trained to share Jesus is because of the reality of spiritual warfare directed at the one who witnesses for Jesus.
2. Because of the clear teaching of Scripture.
Ephesians 4:11-12 says, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12 KJV, italics mine). This text teaches that there are those whom God has placed in the Christian community to equip the believers for the work of ministry.
No biblically minded believer would disagree with the statement that evangelism is part of the work of the ministry. Believers, therefore, must be equipped for evangelism. Training in personal evangelism is needed because of the clear teaching of Scripture.
3. Because of the positive impact that training has on the evangelism mandate.
In a recent article from Joel Sutherland of the North American Mission Board, he states, “Top evangelistic churches train their members to share their faith and to initiate gospel conversations” (Your Church on Mission: Live on Mission — Evangelism Training, Nov. 9, 2016). This article states what many pastors and church leaders already know: When people are trained to witness, they are more likely to initiate gospel conversations with unbelievers.
Kentucky Baptist Convention Evangelism and Church Planting Team wants to help Kentucky Baptist pastors, church planters, directors of missions, and other leaders equip believers to share the gospel. That is why we are offering equipping events across the state to equip leaders to train church members in personal evangelism. Each church we equip will be given a training kit that they can then use in their church or association.
For more information on equipping events in your area, or to schedule a training event in your association or area, please contact me at (270) 889-4276, or by email at email@example.com. We look forward to helping Kentucky Baptist churches reach Kentucky and the world for Christ.
Todd Gray, team leader for KBC’s Evangelism, Church Planting, and Collegiate Ministry Team.