To be quite honest, I hate the idea of “evangelizing.” Growing up, I always saw this as going up to random people and throwing the Bible at them. It was like sleezy salesman for Jesus. I hated it and hated the idea of doing it.
However, Jesus said in Matthew 28:18-20 to go and make new disciples; therefore, if we ourselves are Christ-followers evangelism is not optional: it’s our job. So, we must find a way to go about it authentically, and with love, in a way that works.
I think it is quite appropriate to look to Jesus when trying to learn how to evangelize. In Matthew 5:13, Jesus says, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”
At first, this verse may not seem like a verse about evangelism, but when we look at the properties of salt, we might find not only a guide to being a Christ-follower, but also a practical, authentic way of evangelism.
Salt gives flavor. It is what makes food taste good, it helps make food enjoyable. Disciples of Jesus give this world goodness and helps to make life more enjoyable. We are told by Paul the apostle to bear fruit through the Holy Spirit, like those found in Galatians 5:22-23. When we allow the Spirit to work within us, we bear fruit that makes life sweet and full of goodness. Proverbs 16:24 says, “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweet to the taste and healing for the body.” Our words alone give life sweetness and healing. Not only for us, but those around us are blessed. We give their lives flavor and goodness when we offer up our best. What flavor are you choices and your words bringing to your life, to you family’s lives, to your friends lives? One way or another, you bring flavor. Let it be good tasting.
Salt is a purifier. In the Old Testament (Ex 30:35; Lev 2:13), salt was used to purify offerings that the Israelites made to the LORD. It made them holy. God uses us to bring righteousness into this world—to rid it of social injustice, to be leaders of justice and righteousness and purity. We must fight on behalf of social injustice—we are the ones God has sent. There are so many ways to get involved—wherever your passions run. You could get involved with sending water filters to Uganda, education and skill building in third world countries, slavery in India, sex trafficking in the Philippines. Or find something in your backyard. And you lead by example, living a life holy and pure. You are called to be the salt; those who help bring justice and purity to a fatally flawed world.
Salt is a healer. It was used by Elisha in 2 Kings 2:21 to heal (purify) the spring of Jericho. Therefore, in telling his disciples to be the salt, Jesus was telling his disciples that they were to heal those around us, and the land which was given to us in Genesis 2:15. When God gave us the Holy Spirit, he did not give you something that was weak and timid. When we put our faith in God and truly believe in him, miracles are possible. Do you pray for those who are in need of healing with expectation? James 5:14 says, “13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” Do you pray and believe that God has the power and the will to work on your behalf? As Christians, the most powerful thing we can do is hold those entrusted to us to the feet of the Healer. You must be praying. And we have to be living in authentic relationship with God so we can know what is His will, what we should ask for. The prayers of a righteous person have great power. Are you living righteously? Do your prayers hold power because of your faith in God? That is what you are called to! Jesus did not just tell us to live righteously because God told us to, but because through righteous living, we might heal the world around us. What an incredible God we serve! Hallelujah, praise His Holy Name!
If we want to go and make disciples like we have been told to do by Jesus, we have to be changed. Our salt cannot lose its flavor, its potency. Like salt, we must bring goodness into the world, we must help rid it of evil, and we must heal it. The best way to evangelize is by living it. Luke 6:45 says, “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” If you focus on God, let him be the filter through which you view every person you meet, every single choice you make, and your heart will be so full of Him that it will overflow through your mouth. You don’t have to worry about how to “evangelize” or share your testimony or talk about God. Your heart will be so full of God, His words will fall out of your mouth and your life cannot help but testify God’s goodness. That is how we evangelize! We live and grow in Christ authentically.
I would love to hear your evangelism testimony. What has worked for you?