Misconceptions About Evangelism
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” – 1 Pet 2:9.
This verse tells us we are saved for two purposes; first that God may possess us fully and secondly that we may proclaim His name to all we encounter. So why aren’t we doing more proclaiming? Maybe it is because of some misconceptions we have about evangelizing. Consider the following:
1) We make it too much about baptizing. And when we’re proclaiming and not baptizing, we cease fire because we think we’re cashing blank checks. This misconception, though, assumes that evangelism is all about the baptizing business when in fact we’re in the seed planting business (1 Cor 3:6-7). Paul himself said in 1 Cor 1:17 that he wasn’t sent to baptize, but to preach the gospel. Don’t misunderstand me, the bible makes it clear that baptism is a necessity to be saved (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38). But evangelism is about declaring God’s glory while baptism is merely the result for the “few who find it” (Matt 7:14). Too often we put the cart before the horse. If we think it’s bad now, what if we lived in the days of Ezekiel where God told him to preach, but then followed it up with, “I have sent you to them who should listen to you; yet the house of Israel will not be willing to listen to you…” – Ezek 3:6-7. Let’s start planting seed and stop counting wet bodies…that part will take care of itself.
2) We think it’s the preacher’s job. “After all, that’s what we pay him for!” Oh what a sadder state our world would be in if only paid preachers did the proclaiming. I can say from personal experience that when I’m conversing with someone and they ask me what I do for a living and I say I’m a preacher, the walls suddenly go up as the mood changes. Most people don’t have this problem, though. Our biggest prospects are our neighbors, our coworkers, our schoolmates, and our family; these folks see us every day walking the walk and making a difference and we’re going to have far more success proclaiming Jesus to them than a preacher who they’ve never met. Preachers do evangelize, hence the name “preacher”. But their primary job when the church comes to together is the fire up the brethren to get talking.
3) We try to kick start an evangelistic program by bringing in “the guy” to hold us a lecture. This guy really is impressive. He could sell a refrigerator to an Eskimo. He’s a natural door to door salesman. And he has this magic formula he claims is sure to land you as many prospects as he has had. But pretty soon, we find ourselves trying to be like him and realize after a time that we’re not him and never will be him and so the frustration kicks in again. I’m thankful for men such as this who have a natural gift for spreading the gospel, but if it took these super evangelists to get the job done then God would have made us all like this guy. Instead, God has given us all unique abilities in the kingdom and our job is not to buy into one guy’s evangelistic method, but to find our own niche in the kingdom and apply it to God’s glory.