Evangelism is vital when it comes to walking in the Word. Every Christian has a duty to evangelize, but there are many different ways in which this can be done (Earley & Wheeler, 2010). Some denominations still go around, knocking on people's doors and trying to talk to whoever answers about Jesus. Most are met with resistance, and some with rudeness and even threatening behavior (McRaney, 2003; Whaley & Wheeler, 2011). This generally takes place because people do not like to be disturbed in their own homes. They want to be left alone, even if they do believe in Jesus, and they want to come to Christ or explore religion on their own terms (Earley & Wheeler, 2010). That can make things difficult for those who wish to evangelize, because they are uncertain how they can proceed if they continue to get turned away at the front door.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways a follower of Christ can evangelize without the need for door knocking and other behaviors that might not be taken too kindly by people who do not want to be bothered by others at inconvenient times. That is not to say there is no place for knocking on doors in an effort to spread the word, but only that it might not be the most effective option (Fay, 1999). There are many other ways to get the Word out to people who want to hear it or who may be receptive to it if it was presented to them in the right way. One of the things that can be done is to step back and take a look at one's own life and how it is being lived (Earley & Wheeler, 2010; Fay, 1999). If a person is not being a true witness for Christ by the way he or she is living life, that person cannot really expect to evangelize successfully (Earley & Wheeler, 2010).
What Evangelism Involves
For example, a person who comes to your door on Saturday morning, asking if you believe in Jesus, should not be seen drunk and rowdy at the bar on Saturday night. It sends a conflicting message, and one that many people may not appreciate. It can even turn some people away from Christianity because it sends the message that Christians are no different from anyone else, or that they do not take their religion and their salvation seriously. That lack of consideration for their religion may be true of some Christians, but that is not the way it should be -- and certainly not the way it is for those who are truly interested in evangelizing and/or having or building a ministry. Evangelism is not something a person does one morning a week by knocking on doors in order to fulfill some kind of religious obligation (Whaley & Wheeler, 2011).
Instead, evangelism is about the whole of life and how it is lived by people who have a deep reverence for Christ and people who want to share their joy with others (McRaney, 2003; Whaley & Wheeler, 2011). If a person is not able to live his or her life according to Christian principles, that person should not be evangelizing. It sends a message that is not accurate. There are many ways in which evangelism can be addressed, though, and it does not require any door knocking. A person should think about how he or she is living life, and the kinds of things that are important to him or her (Earley & Wheeler, 2010). It is also important to think about where the person generally goes during any given day, and what kinds of things the person does while at those locations.
Evangelizing can be an impromptu thing when the right opportunity presents itself, but it is generally better to have a plan (Fay, 1999; McRaney, 2003). Once one is clear on a day-to-day routine and what is offered at particular locations, that person can begin to consider how he or she can work evangelism into the normal activities of the day (Earley & Wheeler, 2010). From the moment a person leaves his or her house and comes into contact with others until that person returns home again, there are opportunities to evangelize (Fay, 1999; Whaley & Wheeler, 2011). That does not have to mean talking with others about Christ, and does not even have to mean saying anything at all.
How a person lives his or her life and how he or she does things can speak volumes about whether he or she is a Christian without a word ever being uttered (Earley & Wheeler, 2010). This is not to suggest that a person "take the easy way out" and insist that enough evangelizing is being done because life is being lived according to Christian principles. However, it is an excellent starting point and highly valuable when one considers that people do notice what others do in many cases (McRaney, 2003). If a person tries to talk to someone about Christ but is seen an hour later yelling at a clerk for a mistake at a grocery store register, the conflict between the two issues can be very upsetting.
Not every Christian sees evangelizing the same way, and it is certainly possible for even the most Christian person to lose his or her temper at times. Many factors can contribute to that, and it is part of being human. However, those who are truly committed to a Christian life will take care to avoid problems with temper, temptations, and other difficulties that would not be seen as problems for those who were not as committed to their faith or who were not seeking to follow Christian principles (Earley & Wheeler, 2010; Whaley & Wheeler, 2011). Everyone who wants to evangelize has the opportunity to do so.
How a person lives his or her life can be an excellent testament to Christian beliefs, but it is not the only thing a person can do (Earley & Wheeler, 2010). It is also possible to let others know about Christ without asking them specifically if they believe, knocking on their door, or reading to them from the Bible (Whaley & Wheeler, 2011). Many evangelists are relatively quiet and humble about what they believe (Fay, 1999). As a result of that, and as a result of the joy and peace they seem to exude no matter what the circumstances, people seek them out (McRaney, 2003; Whaley & Wheeler, 2011). When people come to them, it is clear that those people want to find out more about Christ.
Reaching Out and Being Sought After
They may be believers, too, or they may be unsure and have questions. Both groups are welcome, as are those who do not believe and want to have a dialogue about that. Most evangelists do not concern themselves with militant atheists who are clearly not curious or open and just want to demoralize those who believe in Christianity. There is nothing to be done there other than remain calm and at peace, and pray for people who are in that situation. Becoming angry and "fighting back" will not be successful. It is a much better choice to live a deliberate and careful life that stands as an example of what a Christian should believe in and how he or she should act.
When people seek out an evangelist or another Christian, they often do so for a couple of different reasons. It could be because they feel as though most people around them are not Christian and they want another person who shares their faith to talk with. It could also be because they are lapsed Christians who feel they have lost their way, and they are looking for some guidance in their life. Both provide excellent opportunities to evangelize and share important information about the beauty and value of a life lived in Christ (Earley & Wheeler, 2010). Evangelizing can also be done in subtle ways (Earley & Wheeler, 2010; Fay, 1999). Many people wear jewelry that identifies them as Christian, such as the fish symbol or a cross or crucifix.
While this does not guarantee that someone is a Christian, because anyone can wear jewelry, it does generally suggest who is a believer and who is not. If a person chooses to wear jewelry that will identify him or her as a Christian, it is a good idea to also provide words and actions that match the Christian belief system. A person's entire life can become a statement about faith and belief, but only if that person is committed to that type of life (Earley & Wheeler, 2010). Being a Christian and evangelizing in a world where that is not always welcomed can be challenging, but that does not mean it should be ignored or discarded in favor of what is easier to do (McRaney, 2003; Whaley & Wheeler, 2011).