I don’t have the gift of evangelism. This may surprise you. You might be thinking, “You don’t have the gift of evangelism? I thought you direct an evangelism equipping ministry and spent years as a missionary among your Jewish people…and you don’t have the gift??” It’s true.
I can, however, tell you that I do have a mandate – to be a witness for Jesus.
In fact, whether you have the spiritual gift of evangelism or not, you have been given that same mandate. For we all are called to be witnesses for Jesus, and this calling comes directly from the Lord:
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8-9).
Notice that when the resurrected Jesus gave this marching order to His disciples just before ascending into heaven, his statement applied to all of them.
No doubt they all had different skill sets, giftings, and experiences. Yet His final words were inclusive and without partiality. In other words, everyone was responsible to be a witness and nobody received a pass.
There are a few practical applications for you and me.
First, none of us is excused from being a witness. I can’t say it’s solely the responsibility of professional evangelists or missionaries to be a witness. No, we all have the responsibility to be witnesses for the Lord.
Therefore, as His witnesses, we all have a Kingdom responsibility and a ministry to dispense. When addressing the church in Corinth, the Apostle Paul communicated these foundational truths to everyone in that faith family:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:17-20).
Paul told everyone in that congregation they had been given the ministry of reconciliation. He also shared the Lord had also committed to them the word of reconciliation. And finally, Paul called them ambassadors for Christ.
As believers in Jesus Christ, we are all new creations in Him. We all are ambassadors for Christ. And we all have been given this same ministry and word of reconciliation.
Do you see yourself as a witness? Do you realize you are an ambassador for Christ with a ministry to dispense – namely the ministry of reconciliation?
As witnesses for Jesus, another application is our gifting, our perceived adequacy or lacking in the area of evangelism, our experiences and our vocation are all secondary to this primary reality – effective evangelism is always done through the power of the Holy Spirit:
“Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,”
Says the Lord of hosts.
Jesus said “without Me you can do nothing” in John 15:5 and the Apostle Paul added “I can all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
Therefore, if we all are witnesses for Jesus and effective witnessing is done through the power for God, what does it look like for us as individuals? The answer – different and yet the same!
You see, God has wired each of uniquely. For we all have been endowed with unique giftings, experiences and platforms in which to be a witness. Yet God has also given all of us the same tools in which to witness – namely prayer, the Holy Spirit, the Word of God along good works (demonstration) and good words (proclamation).
As you read these words, know God has placed you in a unique sphere of influence for this reason – to be a witness for Jesus. Although few of us may have the gift of evangelism, all of us are His witnesses and are called to engage the work of evangelism!
Specifically, to whom are you called to be a witness and what does that witness look like? Well that’s for you and me to discover as we seek the Lord’s will in this area of our lives.
So today once again enter the mission field He has placed you – your sphere of influence – doing everything as unto the Lord…as His witness!
No I don’t have the gift – just the mandate – to go and be His witness…and so do you!
Sing to the Lord, bless His name;
Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.
Declare His glory among the nations,
His wonders among all peoples (Psalm 96:2-3).