The “E” word.
It strikes fear in the hearts of many in the comfort of their homes, wondering if they’ll get the knock on their door from the door-to-door evangelist. It repulses the TV watcher who quickly changes the channel after stumbling on the shouting preacher. It moves some to walk on the other side of the street at the sight of a youth group ahead in their path.
Society, and increasingly the Church, is becoming fearful of the word “Evangelism.” This has led many Christians to hand over evangelism to the crazies and step away.
The word “evangelist” in the ancient Greek is εὐαγγελιστής (euaggelistēs), meaning “bringer of good news.” This means that as a person of faith, you can (and are called) to simply share the good news of God. And while the Good News should be understood as the message of Jesus, I think it’s also very appropriate to simply share with others how God might be moving in your life.
That’s our call. Taking the word from Scripture, it seems that the rest is up to God. Where people went wrong at times is that they also took on the responsibility of conversion…notches in the ol’ belt.
Look, God transforms people…we don’t. This is not to lighten the word ‘evangelism,’ but to correct it.
So share the good news freely and let God do the heavy lifting; but don’t shy away for fear of the “E” word.