Evangelism – Teach About it or Actually do it?

My wife knows I am a processor. I like to gather information, process it, and spit something out on the other side. So when it comes to evangelism, my first thought it to teach a class on it. But instead my wife has this crazy idea that maybe we ought to first actually start evangelizing the people we know who are lost before we get any kind of credibility to teach on the subject. Maybe she is on to something.

I have decided that there are times I get more excited about teaching a topic than I get about actually doing what it is I am teaching on. That is pretty messed up, isn’t it? It is kind of like being at a huge event where there are big screens everywhere showing you what is going on. Now, you are there live and what is happening is right in front of you but instead you watch the big screen like you were at home. I once heard Rudy Guiliani speak and I kept finding myself watching him on the big screen. But there he was right in front of me. We do life like that sometimes. Important things are right in front of us but we miss it.

I have really been thinking about evangelism and one thing that has dawned on me over the last week is that much of what I considered outreach was really still in-reach. It was more about getting loosely connected people connected, those who had already come through the door, rather than reaching out to those who don’t yet know they are interested or haven’t made the jump to attend. So here goes…I am going to make a concerted effort to start reaching. It can’t just be talk. It can’t just be show. It can’t just be a tweet or a blog post. It has to be real action in the lives of real people making a real difference.

Ever been there?

About mattdabbs
I am a minister, husband, and father. My wife and I live and minister in Saint Petersburg, Florida. My primary ministry responsibilities include: small groups, 20s and 30s, involvement, and adult education.

6 Responses to Evangelism – Teach About it or Actually do it?

  1. Sorta like texting & driving? Folks love to pontificate about how important it is not to do. But do they feel so strongly to not do it themselves?

  2. James Wood says:

    YES! yesyesyesyes!

    I’m right there with you on this whole process (from the wanting to teach about it all the way to wanting to just do it).

    What I keep coming back to is the fact that Jesus didn’t tell us to evangelize, he told us to make disciples who learn to obey everything he commanded. How can we make disciples if we aren’t disciples ourselves?

    We need to cultivate a culture of learners (not necessarily teachers) who feel free to ask questions about faith and God, are empowered to search for the answers, discover the truth in Scripture through the guidance of the Spirit and the Body, and live changed lives because of the truth. Then we invite the people we know into that process with us, giving them the same freedom to question, search, discover and change that we have.

    Ah, you got me so fired up that I had to blog about it. I’ve been thinking about this for a while and this seems like a good time to start writing it out (and doing it in real life too).

  3. What will be your first step? Cold contacts?

  4. chrisgagner says:

    I once got the crazy idea that I wanted to be a financial counselor like the Dave Ramsey folks. Then I realized that my own spending was a little out of control.. I couldn’t stay on budget.. I had too much debt. It’s kinda like a person who can’t swim trying to give swimming lessons.

    It was ALSO my wife who suggested that perhaps I should actually start doing what I was going to teach before I teach it.

    What a concept… Doing!

  5. In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, (Acts 1:1, ESV)

    Jesus first began to do; then he began to teach.

    All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19, ESV)

    Paul said that God gave us the ministry of reconciliation before he gave us the message of reconciliation.

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