I have been thinking a lot about things in our culture that are anemic, or in a coma, or near death. People sometimes ask me why there aren’t more miracles in our culture. There are about five reasons why this is the case in America. Most people think we need to pray more often with more people and believe more. I guess they have a point, but how is that working out? The primary reason for fewer miracles in our culture is simple. We are in an “evangelistic coma.”
In your Bible, you will see that miracles are most prevalent in and around evangelism. Miracles and evangelism like traveling the same road together. If we want more signs and wonders then we have to resurrect word-based evangelism. Signs and wonders confirm the word of God (Mark 16:20). Check out evangelistic revivals throughout history and you will often see signs and wonders following the preaching of the gospel.
This publication is entitled, “Good News,” so why not share some good news? The gospel is actually the “power of God” (Romans 1:16) and that divine power is loosed only when we share it. While that power is loosed, it heals, restores, refreshes and anoints. I understand there are ways to witness to others that we call “evangelism.” Yes, we should model an exemplary life to others. We should have a joyful countenance etc. Evangelism by definition involves telling, speaking, talking, sharing, vocalizing, articulating, verbalizing, uttering and maybe even mumbling if it improves upon silence.
If you are one to shy away from sharing the gospel, it is likely because you either deal with a fear of man, you feel ill-equipped or you actually are ill-equipped. Whatever the reason, good or weak, you are withholding from others the very thing they need to survive, and while doing so, you are grossly limiting the experiential understanding of all that you have of Christ (Philemon 6). We play God when we decipher and decide what we should and shouldn’t do when it comes to evangelism. Is a commandment from God really a commandment (Mark 16:15)? Sounds like something said in the garden of Eden. I believe it came from a serpent.
Living the resurrected life in Christ is a glorious thing. Maybe we need to look at this area closely. Maybe we have heaven and earth backwards? There is one thing that we will have no need of in heaven. There will be absolutely no need for evangelism in heaven. In America, it is starting to look like we have heaven and earth switched up. There is work to do while it is still day. There are miracles to witness, signs to observe and people to disciple. I encourage you to talk with your pastor. It is your pastor’s responsibility to “prepare people for works of service” (Ephesians 4:12). If that isn’t happening in the area of evangelism, then respectfully request some good training.
We have to first admit that we are certainly anemic if not in a coma when it comes to personal evangelism. This isn’t acceptable. Not at all acceptable! I encourage you to go on offense, which simply means “get off the fence.”
If you are actively sharing your faith, press on toward the goal and set the bar high, show other believers the way and don’t grow weary in well doing. The rest of us need your loving example. Stay the course, the rest of the body will follow! Sitting on a fence is painful. Living on offense is exhilarating.
In a few weeks I will start a workshop and a weekly podcast on re-engaging effective evangelism. I sure hope someone shows up and people listen. As you can tell, I am concerned. Are you?
Dr. Gary Hewins is the President of lifepoints.org, a coaching and consulting ministry to ministry leaders and preachers and the Senior Pastor of Community Bible Church in the picturesque mountains of Highlands, N.C.