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We practice ‘Fishing the World’ by living out our Kingdom vocation (calling) via our daily occupation (work). This naturally leads to EVANGELISM: sharing the good news of Jesus, who saves us through his life, death and resurrection. I’ve repeatedly said, however, who you are, how you behave, communicates much louder than what you say about Jesus. Last week I taught on the What? and Why? of evangelism; now we look at the How?
The Wisdom of Every Believer Evangelism
To be a follower of Jesus is to be his witness (evangelist). Every believer is his messenger of joy sharing The Gospel, ‘fishing’ people into his Kingdom. While some are gifted as evangelists (Eph 4:11), every believer is called to do evangelism… right where we are, and further afield, to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Therefore, we must “always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have… with gentleness and respect” (1 Pet 3:15, cf. Eph 6:15 & Is 52:7).
To ‘win’ people requires wisdom as Solomon says: “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and those who win souls are wise” (Prov 11:30). Those who are wise will lead many to righteousness, shining like bright stars in a darkening world (Dan 12:3). This applies to Jesus’ fishing image: to catch fish you need to be clever, knowing what fish you’re trying to catch, the season, the time and tide, and what bait to use! Because we ignore these factors we often don’t catch fish (people) – besides our lack of motivation and practice. Jesus used other images to teach the same regarding his disciples’ mission and witness in the world: “I’m sending you out like sheep among wolves, therefore be as shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves” (Matt 10:16) – be cunning and clever, yet pure and innocent! To be “the salt of the earth” is to make people thirsty for God’s goodness, while stinging their corrupt conscience; and to be “the light of the world” is to show people the way to God by your good deeds, while confronting and driving back their darkness (Matt 5:13-16). Continue reading The Practice of Evangelism (2) – The How To?