Term Paper: Study of Evangelism

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[. . .] The way a person dresses and acts, the jewelry and clothing he or she chooses, and the way he or she speaks to and treats others are all excellent ways to evangelize in a reserved, quiet way (Whaley & Wheeler, 2011). This will allow people to know what a person is about without that person being too aggressive and possibly turning a curious person away. Overzealous evangelism does not work well with many people, and is part of the reason that some people who might otherwise believe have avoided Christianity (McRaney, 2003).

Issues With Christianity Today

Two of the biggest issues addressed where Christians are concerned seem to be that non-Christians feel Christians are hypocritical and judgmental (Whaley & Wheeler, 2011). There is some truth to this in some cases, and that is giving many Christians a bad name. The reason these issues have been presented is that it is important to consider whether one is being judgmental or hypocritical so the behavior can be corrected. Without correcting the issues, someone who wants to evangelize may not be able to do so successfully (Fay, 1999; McRaney, 2003). That is why it is important to live a life of integrity according to Christian principles, so it can be seen that a person is not branded in ways that many Christians are branded (Fay, 1999). To be judgmental and hypocritical is to give those who dislike Christians more fodder for their arguments, and to make them appear to be correct in their assumptions -- both of which should be avoided (Earley & Wheeler, 2010; McRaney, 2003).

Christians have also been characterized as pushy in their evangelism, which is something those who seek to evangelize should be mindful of when they are making determinations of how they want to live their life and how they are going to offer the Word to others (Earley & Wheeler, 2010). Relating to the community where a person lives, plays, and works is very important if he or she is to evangelize in any way that others will be receptive to (McRaney, 2003). That comes from understanding the community, because one cannot relate to something one cannot understand. It can be difficult for someone who is devoutly Christian to understand a community that is not, because there is often little in common. However, that does not mean that evangelizing cannot take place -- and in a way that works for both sides of the equation (Earley & Wheeler, 2010; Fay, 1999).

The Successful Evangelist

People who evangelize successfully do so by understanding the audience they want to reach (Earley & Wheeler, 2010; McRaney, 2003; Whaley & Wheeler, 2011). They find out the interests of that audience, and focus on what that audience wants and needs (Earley & Wheeler, 2010). What that audience is missing in their lives becomes an important concern, so the Christian planning to evangelize can look for ways in which he or she can talk about Christ and can show others that they are missing Him. This is among the best ways to evangelize, because it shows how Christ can meet an important need (Earley & Wheeler, 2010). If done correctly, it can also show how being Christian is highly valuable, and that there are numerous things in this life that Christians can do.

Many people seem to believe that being Christian means a person cannot have any "fun," and that is a stereotype that can and should be changed. In order for people who evangelize to show that Christianity can be valuable, he or she has to be able to show the intended audience how Christianity can be applied to their lives and how it will make their lives better (Earley & Wheeler, 2010; Fay, 1999). Without being able to do this, most people will not be interested in committing their life to Christ and making a change. They want to know what is in it for them (Earley & Wheeler, 2010). For people struggling with their life, or for people who are really enjoying having many carnal types of fun, the promise of eternal life in the future may simply not be enough of an incentive.

Conclusion: Building a Ministry

For those who see the value of a commitment to Christ, there is another opportunity. The original evangelist can build a ministry and bring others onboard who will be witnesses for Christ. This can be done through official or more commercial channels, but it can also be done through a more casual, grass-roots movement (Fay, 1999). Both options work well for evangelizing and building a ministry, but it will largely depend on the location and the types of people one encounters. Some people respond very well to direction and organization, and some are just enthusiastic and want to get out and spread the word without any formal effort (Earley & Wheeler, 2010; Fay, 1999).

Either way, the main point is to reach out to others and bring them to Christ. That is the goal of evangelizing, and the focus of those who are committed to teaching others about what Christianity has to offer to them (Fay, 1999). It may not be an easy road, but the more people get involved in a ministry the more of a difference they will be able to make in their community. Once they have done as much as they can in their local area, they may even be able to branch out to other locations that also need to hear the Word of the Lord (Earley & Wheeler, 2010; Fay, 1999). This can be done through missionary work, but can also be done through evangelists for a particular ministry relocating to other areas and taking what they have learned with them (Earley & Wheeler, 2010).

When they take the knowledge they have and carry it to others, they help to spread the Word to those who may need to hear it, and they continue the growth and development of the ministry. Many people are afraid to share the Good News of the Gospel (Fay, 1999). However, being part of a ministry that is expanding can help them learn to express themselves without fear (Fay, 1999). From that point, they will show others what they have learned, and that will mean even more people for the ministry. Over time, something that began as one evangelist with a message can turn into something far larger. Many people can be saved and come to know Christ, and they can be reached in workplaces, grocery stores, parks, and all other places in a community. Evangelism does not have to conjure up visions of people knocking on doors or handing out pamphlets, because it offers so much more than that. It is a testament… [END OF PREVIEW]

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