Must evangelism always be accompanied by social action?

9Marks

No. But…

How can a pastor develop a church’s corporate evangelistic witness?

9Marks
Preach expositionally. As your people hear God’s word every week they will increasingly reflect his glory to the world. Week by week their lives will become a more focused picture of their savior, Jesus Christ. Preach the gospel every week. As your people hear the gospel every week they will grow in their appreciation for it, their understanding of it, and their ability to share it with others.

What is the connection between an individual’s evangelism and his or her church’s corporate witness?

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A church’s corporate witness will either enhance or undermine an individual’s evangelism.

Why should we evangelize?

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Desire to be obedient. Jesus commands his disciples to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19). Peter says to all Christians, “Be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Pet. 3:15, NIV). Peter says this to explain how we are to “set apart Christ as Lord,” that is, how we are to obey him. We should evangelize because God commands it.

What are the dangers of being too contextualized?

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Compromising our witness to the gospel. One danger of being too contextualized is that in attempting to adapt to cultural practices of those around us we adapt our way into sin or untruth and so compromise our witness to the gospel. Losing the sharp edges of the gospel. If we focus too much on making our message relevant, or appealing, or palatable to non-Christians, we may be tempted to adjust the gospel at those points where it is most offensive.

What should we do after we evangelize?

9Marks

That depends mainly on your hearer’s response. Here are some responses you might encounter.

How can you tell the difference between legitimate contextualization and unbiblical compromise?

9Marks

The best rule of thumb in determining what’s biblical contextualization and what’s unbiblical compromise is the question: Does this make the offense of the gospel clearer? If so, it’s biblical contextualization. If not, it’s unbiblical compromise.

What are some practical guidelines for evangelizing well?

9Marks
Pray. Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him” (John 6:44). Salvation is God’s work, so we should ask him to do it. Ask questions and provoke self-reflection. Ask good questions that provoke people to reflect on their lives, their beliefs, and the claims you’re making. And then listen to their answers! It will help you better understand them and their concerns.

How do we contextualize biblically?

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Give up your rights. The apostle Paul had the right to eat meat, to take along a believing wife, and to receive financial support. Yet he gave up these rights in order not to put any obstacle in the way of the gospel (1 Cor. 9:4-18). We, too, should be prepared to give up any rights if using them would offend those we are trying to evangelize.

What are some examples of bad evangelistic practices?

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Failure to share the gospel at all. Because evangelism is sharing the gospel, the main way to go wrong is to fail to tell the message at all. Sometimes people who are doing social work think that by caring for the poor or helping the oppressed they’re “sharing the gospel without words.” They’re not. They may be doing wonderfully kind and selfless things for others, but evangelism means telling others the message about Christ.

Why are so many people today talking about contextualization?

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Is there a “best” way to evangelize?

9Marks

The only “best” way to evangelize is to tell someone the whole gospel message and call him or her to faith in Christ. That may mean building a relationship first, or not. It may mean writing a letter to a family member or sharing the gospel with a friend over coffee. It may mean preaching a sermon in a church or hosting an evangelistic Bible study in your home or anything other way you can think of to share the gospel. 

The message is what matters. The method, as long as it reflects the truth and is spoken in love, is somewhat flexible.

Is it always better to build a relationship before sharing the gospel?

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What does 9Marks think about “contact evangelism”?

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Contact evangelism is often dismissed as pushy and ineffective, particularly in our postmodern era. It’s said that evangelism should always occur in the context of a relationship. What do we say?

Must you call for a decision in evangelism?

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The Bible tells us that God the Father, Jesus and Paul call for decisions. So should we.