Evangelism in the Life and Ministry of the Christian
Evangelism should be intentional in the life and ministry of the Christian as demanded by the Great Commission. The Great Commission serves as the institutional mandate for the Church's obedience to make disciples for Christ (Matthew 28:16-20).
Therefore, the Commission requires the Christian to make disciples through the power of the Holy Spirit by cultivating relationships. Christian discipleship also requires the mature disciple to help the new disciple grow in Christ, as they engage in the lifelong journey of faith through their pilgrimage on earth (2 Peter 3:18 and Hebrews 6:1).
That is why, the role of evangelizing the Gospel in Christian ministry should be seen as a single-minded mission with an open-minded approach. The essence of making disciples reinforces the truth that affirms for me that as individuals, we are all part of something more substantial and significant than each one of us.
Therefore, we evangelize to bring others into the kingdom of God through the power of the Holy Spirit. The sending out of the body of Christ to make disciples is always for the benefit of the other. We go out as missionaries not only to seek the lost but also the downtrodden. However, my conviction on the role of Christian evangelism is steeped in the dual purpose of salvation for the soul and deliverance for the community through words (proclamation) and works (demonstration). The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not divided, and so through evangelism, we should commit not only to proclaim Christ in words and deeds, but also to evangelize against the systemic and structural evils that perpetuates the destruction and dehumanization of our humanity. Proclaiming and actualizing individual and societal salvation remains the Christ-centered duty of the Christian and the Church as spelled out in loving God and loving one's neighbor.
Jesus notes that as disciples we are called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world to proclaim the Gospel and effect change through our deeds in Christ. As such, our mission to evangelize and transform society as Christians remains relevant when we remain in Christ. Remaining in Jesus retains our saltiness to be the light of the world to proclaim the way, the truth, and the life that is in Christ. We also proclaim through our hope in Christ for the change that enables the transformation of the political, social, and economic darkness pervading over our societies (Luke 4:18-19).
Our hope in Christ acts as a springboard for our action in Christ. Without hope, we will not have the foundation for action. Therefore, in evangelizing and transforming our societies, we engage in prayer, invite others to hear the message of Christ, share
the faith to bring hope, and demonstrate the faith in our actions to mirror the life of the incarnated Christ.
Evangelism and societal transformation then are necessary because humanity is lost and without hope (Luke 19:10 and Ephesians 2:12) and humanity is under condemnation and destined for destruction (John 3:36). As such, we are obligated through our lives and in our ministries to proclaim the hope in Christ that triggers action to bridge the estrangement between humanity and God through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Since the Fall humanity has moved from the Truth of God to an error of the Truth. There would be no error of the Truth if there was no Truth in the beginning. Hence, as Christians we need to construct a bridge from the error of society to introduce the Truth in the Gospel of Christ. This Truth continues to remain our hope. The death and resurrection of Jesus is the only bridge reconciling God and sinful humanity (I Timothy 2:5-6); so, we proclaim and demonstrate the Gospel of Christ to direct people to the bridge of Jesus. That bridge intersects at the Cross on Calvary to connect humankind to God. In this light, we evangelize Christ and act to reverse systemic evil not by our own power but by the power and at the direction of the Holy Spirit.