This week we re visit an earlier conversation between Pastors Priji and Rashmi, Evangelist Hari Rao Pawar, Evangelist Arun GP along with Pavitra GP, and Pastors Vijay and Virginia Belola. The group converses about evangelism, the obstacles that hinder Christians from evangelizing, and the role of the church in exhorting and equipping each other to share the Gospel.
Pastor Priji: What do you think is one of the greatest scopes for growth in all of our ministries?
Evg Hari Rao: Teaching about evangelism, and the church going out after that and evangelizing.
The more the church is equipped, the more the believers are equipped. The more the believers are equipped, the more the believers are converted to disciples, and the disciples into effective witnesses for the Gospel and the Lord Jesus Christ.
If we have to see a global move of God, it is going to take the entire church coming together and being witnesses of His Person and His glory.
Pastor Priji: One thing needed for evangelism is people with a passion for souls. Passion cannot be taught, but caught and developed. How do you think we can develop that passion within the church?
Evg Arun G P: It comes with intimacy and in being in the presence of God. As seen in Him sending out disciples in the New Testament and in Him asking who will go for Him in the Old, God is constantly in the pursuit of reaching out to the lost.
When you are dwelling in the presence of God, there is no way you are not affected by what is in His heart, i.e; to reach to the ends of the world with His unconditional love.
Pastor Priji: When you are with Jesus and it still doesn’t develop into a passion for souls, where do you think the problem is?
Evg Hari Rao: For some people, communication comes naturally and some are reserved. As leaders, we must teach them how to present the Gospel, not only through the life we live (though absolutely important), but also through works.
Having open conversations about these and even conducting mock sessions for dealing with different kinds of people can be a helpful practice.
Pastor Priji: What have you (Vijay & Virginia) done personally to influence young people excited about God and evangelism?
Pastor Vijay: It is important that they should be told of the vision of winning souls, and of the fact that they are one with the church and part of the vision together.
Everyone wants to share the Gospel and be a witness. They need to know that their limitations shouldn’t restrict them.
Pastor Virginia: The fear of rejection makes one hesitant in sharing the Gospel. The church should prepare them to be rejected.
A single person’s conversion pushes them to share the Gospel all the more.
Pastor Vijay: It is important for Christians to realise that people’s rejection is directed at the Gospel and not at them.
Pastor Priji: It was mentioned earlier that there are some introverted Christians who find it hard to converse with new people, like you (Rashmi). What could the church do to equip someone like you to help you be an effective evangelist?
Pastor Rashmi: It is a very sensitive issue- talking of personality types. It is not just your own personality that must be taken into account, but also of the person to be approached. For me, I can be quite uncomfortable standing on roads and handing tracts.
You can use a cover to evangelize, like social media.
But what works best for me is to share the Gospel by building a relationship with the person first.
Evg Hari Rao: I was brought to the Lord by a lady who was very reserved. But she was good in building relationships through acts of service. I responded to her invitation to church, not because I was interested in church, but because I valued her relationship and her investment in my life. Something about her validated the message.
Pastor Vijay: Every person has an area of influence. We need to encourage Christians to work first in that area. The fruit of that area of influence encourages them to go beyond that.
If you were blessed by this conversation, make sure to share it with your friends and family. God bless you!
Note: This podcast was originally posted on December 19, 2015.
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