Why Practice Evangelism?

unsplash-image-jpkGMmNXJn8.jpg

Editor’s note: This month, we are praying for and learning about evangelism in China. Preacher Yang today shares about how he and his church community live out Christ’s command to make disciples in the rapidly changing urban Chinese environment.


Why practice evangelism?

Evangelism is the command of Christ. It is also the reproduction of the life of Christ. Christ himself carried the mission of the gospel and preached the gospel of the Kingdom. He lived out the gospel and saved us, so we who are saved should also share the gospel. This is the ministry of the priesthood, part of the threefold ministry of Christ. We preach as prophets; love as priests; discern, rule and help as kings, and even restore through apologetic work.

Equipping Believers for Relational Evangelism

For me, personal evangelism happens mostly in contact with brothers and sisters in the church. We chat with their families or friends when we eat together, or share with them when they are sick. We try to lead the topic to Christ and eternity, but not too fast at the beginning. Usually, I do friendship evangelism. First I am in contact with them, then start sharing, bringing in the gospel according to their questions. Of course, everything should be under the leading of the Holy Spirit. Experience plays a part: knowing when to share the core message, and when to pave the way toward the gospel.

>
“Evangelism is the command of Christ. It is also the reproduction of the life of Christ. Christ himself carried the mission of the gospel and preached the gospel of the Kingdom. He lived out the gospel and saved us, so we who are saved should also share the gospel.

We teach believers how to share the gospel, using illustrations and presentations to equip them. However, the most important thing is the pulpit. We talk often about how to share with Gentiles. In sermons, we focus on gospel application, preaching to both prodigal sons and Christians at the same time. When we preach, we consciously speak about how to talk to a friend who is interested in the gospel. A lot of this comes out of experience, helping people find ways to lead conversation to the core messages of the gospel: eternal life and death, and substitutionary salvation.


Never miss a story

Sign up to receive our weekly email with our original articles.

In the city, it is still difficult for Christians to share their faith. Many difficulties come from believers who are not equipped, and are therefore afraid. Actually, Christians can share their experiences, lead the topic to Christ, and then live out their love. If they are not too results-oriented, this will not be a big deal. They must face their own weaknesses and fears of how others see them, and they need courage in situations when it is difficult to lead conversations to the gospel core. In short, believers need more practice. Christians are often afraid to share the gospel or just want people to come to church, but we encourage them to find ways to bring up gospel topics themselves.

For example, my aunt is not very educated. Whenever she takes a cab, she asks, “Do you know about Christmas?” Through this she shares about the origin of Christmas, what Christmas is about, how many years it has been since Jesus came to the world, and so on.

Time for Reflection: Patience as Part of the Process

Evangelism is now a little different from before. In the past, the temptations of the world were not so great, and people were not so restless. Previously—being influenced by modernism and truth-seeking—people thought deeply about things. Maybe, if the theory of evolution was dissolved, it was easy for them to think that God exists. But today, people are sophisticated. You need to be conscious what questions you raise in their modern minds.

I usually share the gospel in my sermons. This way, brothers and sisters bring interested friends to hear the gospel at church. Since we are being persecuted now [affecting public worship and bringing unbelieving friends to church], I intentionally host evangelism meetings. Christians bring their friends, and I talk about different topics so seekers can understand the gospel and its impact. I also tackle difficult apologetic issues. This evangelism class is ten sessions, covering fundamental truths, apologetics, and some application.

I talk about things like the difference between the gospel and religion, worldview issues, who God is, the Trinity, and the impact of the Trinity on worldview, especially as a contrast with the “law of the jungle.” In particular, only the Triune God has love—this is a core doctrine. I show movies on creationism, and talk about who Jesus is. Understanding that Jesus is both God and human is essential. Later, I talk about sin, and idols of man and idols of the heart. I discuss the origin of the Bible, talk about how to face suffering, and the importance of the church. Finally, I talk about Christian views of marriage and work. This is so seekers can know that Christianity is comprehensive, and is more applicable and reasonable than general views of marriage and work.

>
In the city, it is still difficult for Christians to share their faith. Many difficulties come from believers who are not equipped, and are therefore afraid. Actually, Christians can share their experiences, lead the topic to Christ, and then live out their love. If they are not too results-oriented, this will not be a big deal. They must face their own weaknesses and fears of how others see them, and they need courage in situations when it is difficult to lead conversations to the gospel core. In short, believers need more practice.

Many people continue to show interest. Those who are not interested will not continue to attend after one or two sessions, because God has not prepared them. Those who continue to participate till the end generally stay in the church, or significantly change their attitude towards Christianity. Since our church was raided last autumn, I have hosted this evangelism class several times, and it is quite effective. Many people were reached, and about ten people came to faith. This is something to be grateful for.

We definitely need to evangelize differently than in the past. We used to wait idly for the right opportunity: for example, a good environment to hold an evangelistic conference. However, we find those conferences more and more difficult to do. Why? Questions addressed in a setting like that are limited. A conference cannot sufficiently destroy the worldviews and values of the audience. It takes a series of lessons to help people digest and reflect, rather than joining the church in a moment of passion. This is a big difference between now and the past.

Discipleship Is an Essential Component of Evangelism

We always follow up with seekers. After they finish the class, we encourage them to join small groups and Sunday services. We try not to invite them before finishing the class. There are several reasons, one of which is it is already the best they can do to come to church once a week. If they had to attend other services, this would cause aversion and they would think Christianity exploits them for their time. After we introduce them to small group leaders, we also visit them. I usually follow up with them for a period of time, stopping once they are settled in their groups. Care from the senior pastor is still very important.

Instead of immediately recommending that new believers take discipleship courses, we wait until they have believed more clearly. This requires time and interest from them. (Of course, we adjust the process according to individual situations.) If we do not include discipleship training, evangelism is incomplete. New believers would not be able to live out the life of Christ in its entirety, which is detrimental to spiritual life. Discipleship training also builds up courage and faith, and allows people to experience God-given fruit and the joy of participating in ministry. All of this helps new Christians understand the gospel and grow spiritually. Therefore, discipleship training is an essential part of evangelism.


Preacher Yang is a house church preacher on the southeastern coast of China. He and his wife have one child.

 

FOR PRAYER AND REFLECTION

Pray for Chinese Christians to boldly take the initiative to start gospel conversations with their friends, family, and colleagues.

Share This Story

Further Reading

henry-co-G0rae74NmvY-unsplash
The Internal Cross: A Pastoral Letter
Read More
hangjia-xu-3ZdSvOSlm4c-unsplash
The External Cross: A Pastoral Letter
Read More
billow926-ND4-6joi3t8-unsplash
Qingdao: How to Pray
Read More

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA

With rising pressure and persecution in China, there are two challenges imperative for church leaders. The first challenge is for current leaders to love Christ above all else, and not to stray into legalism or love of the world. The second challenge is to raise up the next generation of leaders, who will humbly model Jesus even if current leaders are arrested.

WILL YOU JOIN US IN PRAYING FOR LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA? PRAY FOR:

  1. Current leaders to grow in their daily walks with Christ
  2. Current leaders to shepherd and raise up new leaders
  3. New leaders who love Christ and will model him to the world
  4. New leaders to love and care for the church

Videos

ABOUT LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

About Shenyang

Shenyang is a city located in northeastern China and is the capital of Liaoning Province. It is known for its rich history and cultural heritage, including the Shenyang Imperial Palace, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Shenyang is also a hub for China’s heavy industry, with companies such as the China First Automobile Group and the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation having their headquarters in the city.

Videos

Stories from Shenyang

About Qingdao

Qingdao is a city located in eastern China and is famous for its beaches, beer, and seafood. The city is home to several landmarks, including the Zhanqiao Pier and the Badaguan Scenic Area. Qingdao is also a major port and has a thriving economy, with industries such as electronics, petrochemicals, and machinery.

Videos

Stories from Qingdao

About Xiamen

Xiamen is a city located in southeastern China and is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful coastal scenery, including Gulangyu Island, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city is also a hub for China’s high-tech industry, with companies such as Huawei and ZTE having research and development centers in Xiamen.

Videos

Stories from Xiamen

About Chongqing

Chongqing is a city located in southwestern China and is a major economic center in the region. The city is known for its spicy cuisine, especially its hot pot dishes, and is also famous for the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydroelectric dam. Chongqing is also home to several historic sites, including the Dazu Rock Carvings, which are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Videos

Stories from Chongqing

About Nanjing

Nanjing is a city located in eastern China and is the capital of Jiangsu Province. It is one of China’s ancient capitals and has a rich cultural history, including the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, the Nanjing City Wall, and the Confucius Temple. Nanjing is also a modern city with a thriving economy and is home to several universities, including Nanjing University and Southeast University.

Videos

Stories from Nanjing

About Changchun

Changchun is a city located in northeastern China and is the capital of Jilin Province. It is known for its rich cultural heritage and is home to several historical landmarks such as the Puppet Emperor’s Palace and the Jingyuetan National Forest Park. Changchun is also a hub for China’s automotive industry, with several major automobile manufacturers having their headquarters in the city.

Videos

Stories from Changchun

About Guangzhou

Guangzhou, also known as Canton, is a city located in southern China and is the capital of Guangdong Province. It is one of the country’s largest and most prosperous cities, serving as a major transportation and trading hub for the region. Guangzhou is renowned for its modern architecture, including the Canton Tower and the Guangzhou Opera House, as well as its Cantonese cuisine, which is famous for its variety and bold flavors. The city also has a rich history, with landmarks such as the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, and the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees. Additionally, Guangzhou hosts the annual Canton Fair, the largest trade fair in China.

Videos

Stories from Guangzhou

About Kunming

Kunming is a city located in southwest China and is the capital of Yunnan Province. Known as the “City of Eternal Spring” for its mild climate, Kunming is a popular tourist destination due to its natural beauty and cultural diversity. The city is home to several scenic spots, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Stone Forest, Dian Lake, and the Western Hills. Kunming is also famous for its unique cuisine, which features a mix of Han, Yi, and Bai ethnic flavors. The city has a rich cultural history, with ancient temples and shrines like the Yuantong Temple and the Golden Temple, and it’s also a hub for Yunnan’s ethnic minority cultures, such as the Yi and Bai peoples.

Videos

Stories from Kunming

About Shenzhen

Shenzhen is a city located in southeastern China and is one of the country’s fastest-growing metropolises. The city is renowned for its thriving tech industry, with companies such as Huawei, Tencent, and DJI having their headquarters in Shenzhen. The city also has a vibrant cultural scene, with numerous museums, art galleries, and parks. Shenzhen is also known for its modern architecture, such as the Ping An Finance Center and the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center. Despite its modernization, Shenzhen also has a rich history and cultural heritage, with landmarks such as the Dapeng Fortress and the Chiwan Tin Hau Temple.

Videos

Stories from Shenzhen

About Chengdu

Chengdu is a city located in the southwestern region of China, and the capital of Sichuan province. It has a population of over 18 million people, and it is famous for its spicy Sichuan cuisine, laid-back lifestyle, and its cute and cuddly residents – the giant pandas. Chengdu is home to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, where visitors can observe these adorable creatures in their natural habitat. The city also boasts a rich cultural heritage, with numerous temples, museums, and historical sites scattered throughout its boundaries. Chengdu is a city of contrasts, with ancient traditions coexisting alongside modern developments, making it an intriguing and fascinating destination for visitors to China. 

Videos

Stories from Chengdu

About Beijing

Beijing is the capital city of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of over 21 million people. The city has a rich history that spans over 3,000 years, and it has served as the capital of various dynasties throughout China’s history. Beijing is home to some of the most iconic landmarks in China, including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven. The city is also a hub for political, cultural, and educational activities, with numerous universities and research institutions located within its boundaries. Beijing is renowned for its traditional architecture, rich cuisine, and vibrant cultural scene, making it a must-visit destination for travelers to China.

Videos

Stories from Beijing

About Shanghai

Shanghai is a vibrant and dynamic city located on the eastern coast of China. It is the largest city in China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of over 24 million people. Shanghai is a global financial hub and a major center for international trade, with a rich history and culture that spans over 1,000 years. The city is famous for its iconic skyline, which features towering skyscrapers such as the Oriental Pearl Tower and the Shanghai Tower. Shanghai is also home to a diverse culinary scene, world-class museums and art galleries, and numerous shopping districts. It is a city that is constantly evolving and reinventing itself, making it a fascinating destination for visitors from around the world.

Videos

Stories from Shanghai

give

A short message about partnering with us.