Evangelism in the early Church was contagious! When the Holy Spirit was given, the believers were compelled to go out and share the Good News about Jesus. Believers in this period didn’t have to be prodded to talk to their neighbors about their Faith; it was their pleasure and an understood Commission to do so. They were totally dependent on the Holy Spirit to reach people and demonstrate the Power of God. In Acts 1, the Holy Spirit so empowered Peter’s words that 3,000 were saved and baptized that day (P.144 Early/Wheeler). Most of the early Church’s time was spent evangelizing and serving others.
Jesus had a gentle and compassionate approach to evangelism he displayed compassion and concern for the people He ministered to. Jesus didn’t allow awkward situations or political correctness keep Him from reaching out to others, that He knew needed the Truth. He didn’t go trying to win people over with many words. His actions of Love and Compassion were displayed by engaging and listening to people, who most people wouldn’t give the time of day to. He evangelized even when he was tired, like with the woman at the well. He also after establishing rapport with the lost, was able to point out the sin in their life in Love. Jesus drew others to Himself with Love.
The Disciples were not as willing to step outside of their comfort zone to evangelize, like Jesus did. They didn’t see evangelism as a top priority. They allowed a lot of their cultural differences with others and lack of spiritual discernment get in the way. This is why they overlooked the spiritual needs of the woman at the well. They refused to see the spiritual harvest and rejoice in what God was doing. Eventually after Jesus was Resurrected, the Disciples changed their tune. They received Power from on High through the Holy Ghost and were enabled to go and get the job done!
Today in the Church, you see more concern with building individual buildings instead of building the Kingdom of God, or His people. We as the Body of Christ have gotten so off track in this foundational area of evangelism. People in the early Church didn’t spend as much time politicking over “church” business. They as a fellowship spent more time outside of the walls of their group, reaching people for Christ than anything else. There was never a question of “Should we start up an evangelism team”? That is what the Church was. They weren’t concerned with being “seeker friendly” like todays Church. Their focus was spot on Jesus and Him crucified, buried and Resurrected from the dead! The modern day Church is so consumed with how many members it has, but no concern for the members truly being converted. The Church of today doesn’t demonstrate the Power of God like the early Church. You barely see miracles, signs and wonders or the signs that follow them that believe in His name, casting out demons, speaking with new tongues and laying hands on the sick and the sick recovering!
Prayer: Father in the name of Jesus, help us to follow your example of evangelism. Lord, thank you for reminding us that this is our Commission from you as a follower of your Son Jesus! Father help us to step outside of our comfort zone when faced with an opportunity to share your message with someone we deem as different or unapproachable. Lord thank you for reminding us that we must totally depend on your Holy Spirit to reach the lost and hurting in this world! And God we thank you for your Grace and mercy in our own lives!
In Jesus name amen!