This is my first research paper for the school year and thought I would share enjoy!
Evangelism is the spreading of Christian Gospel by public preaching or personal witnessing. Romans 10 :17 tells us So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Many believe it’s not only about showing love or caring for others, But we as Christians and followers of Jesus Christ have a duty to spread the Gospel wherever we go. Evangelism reaches across all denominations and is the responsibility of the entire Body of Christ. With out Evangelism the Gospel would have never been able to reach the four corners of the Earth and with stand the test of time.
An Evangelist is a person who shares the Gospel in order to bring others to Christ and the Christian faith by speaking and teaching the Word of God. By claiming to be a Follower of Christ you are obligated to share his Gospel so that makes us all Evangelist. Most Evangelist believe the Trinity and the Bible alone is the ultimate standard. That salvation is by grace and faith that Jesus Christ is God in the Flesh and we are wiped clean of our sins by his ultimate sacrifice and resurrection. Although there are other beliefs, ultimately we all have the same goal which is to bring others to God by sharing the Gospel.
Christianity found it’s roots through Evangelism but varies between denominations and communities. We were told to go out and speak clearly, fearlessly, graciously and respectively when given every opportunity. Evangelism it’s self began with Jesus and his ministry, he would travel and speak to large crowds wherever he went. His death, resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit are set in the very foundation of it’s core. After the Resurrection, The Apostolic Era started with Paul and the other disciples as they went out to spread the Word as instructed by Jesus in Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
When looking at the message being communicated it’s important to know who your audience is. The earliest Evangelist more commonly known as the Apostles, such as Peter and Paul just to name a few were always able to adapt to different circumstances and cultures. Both were able to effectively preach to Jews and Gentiles by knowing what needed to be said and how to say to it. Although the message it’s self was never compromised the Apostle’s were able to share the very foundation of Christianity, the Crucifixion and Resuscitation of Jesus Christ.
Next let’s take a look at the Evangelist themselves who were communicating the message. We can classify them into two groups Formal and Informal, Formal being those who started the Churches and kept them going from day to day and the Informal were ordinary men who heard the calling of God and chose to travel never staying in one place too long. The Bible mentions many others who helped spread the Word and aren’t as well known. Women being an important part of Evangelism such as the Mother of John, Dorcas who became known for her Charity and the four daughters of Phillip who prophesied, wives have also been an instrumental part of Evangelism by supporting their husbands. We also need to take in consideration the vast number of wondering teachers who are briefly mentioned in Mark 1:38 And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: and in the letter Paul wrote to the Church of Corinth where he warns them to be careful not giving heed to deceitful workers and false teachers. Even after the Apostolic Era, for centuries Christians evangelized through informal conversations, work, friends and neighbors continuing the work of Jesus.
Last when looking at the early Church we need to take a quick look at the method used by those evangelist. For example Paul’s entire missionary strategy is in the Book of Acts. But in reality we don’t have much to go on besides that. The early church did not keep records of their methods of evangelism due to being an “illegal religion” in most parts of the World. There weren’t any classes like today to teach men how to do this. Most of the time it was done in secrecy to avoid the persecution and even death. But we do see evidence of charity drawing people to Church. We are told in Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. The early Church would feed the poor, tend to the elderly and visit those imprisoned just as we do today, once again proving Love conquers all and being an example of the Love of Christ.
It has been centuries since the Apostles have walked the Earth and today’s modern Church faces many obstacles and has tried to keep up with the times. Although the message has stayed the same for the most part, we have seen changes in the methods used and who is delivering those messages. We have gone from the Church services of your grandfather’s days to an atmosphere that seems like a rock concert in some ways. This way of preaching has brought many to God, but is it the right message? Services have gone from preaching from scripture to more like inspirational seminars. This is defiantly an obstacle the more conventional church’s face when trying to keep members as more move from traditional sermons to the new aged meetings.
As we start to take a look into modern Evangelism we notice a change in how things are done in order to deal with new obstacles that have arisen over the last few decades. We as a society have had a turning away from God and many have become unaware of his promises either by choice or because no one has taken the time to tell them. Today Modern Evangelist have to be ready to debate and try to defend our beliefs. This has been escalated by the Internet and the amount of information that is available. Online conversations are constant and some even look for Christians to attack in the hopes of starting a debate. But not all online activity has a negative result, since so many people are now surfing the web daily, many evangelist have taken to the internet. You tube and Facebook have been instrumental in bringing the Gospel to millions and this will only increase.
Although faced with these new challenges, The Church has not forgotten how our forefathers would spread the Gospel and still use the methods Evangelist have used for centuries. Many men and women still go out daily door to door, bus ministries are still strong, tracts are still being handed out and we still feed the hungry, care for the elderly and visit those incarcerated
Everyone in the Body of Christ has a responsibility to help spread the Gospel. All members, deacons, teachers, bus drivers, even the lady that bakes cookies for the homeless ministries. We all as followers of Christ must be ready at any moment to proclaim the Love of Christ and be an example and strive to be more Christ like on a daily basis. This is the only way our belief has stood against the test of time, Faith and Determination to tell all of his Great Love and Ultimate sacafirce winning souls for our Father which lives in heaven!