Every person in your church has a message to share with the world. The middle-aged business owner has one. The single parent has one. The 10-year-old you just baptized has one. The 95-year-old in a senior citizen home has one, too.
As pastors, we understand that every member is a minister. And so telling others about who Jesus is and what he came to do isn’t a commission meant just for us.
The Bible makes it clear that God has called every believer to share the Good News.
I know it’s not easy to get everyone in our congregations to commit to evangelism. And it can be frustrating to hear people say they don’t know what to say, they don’t have time, or they are embarrassed to talk about spiritual matters.
At Saddleback, we’ve learned that explaining why evangelism is so important helps people understand the necessity and value of sharing their faith. Here are 10 reasons from the Bible why God wants us to share our faith.
1. God made us to know him.
Human beings are unique. God made us in his image. We have a spirit, which means we can communicate with God. The Bible tells us, “Even before the world was made, God had already chosen us to be his through our union with Christ, so that we would be holy and without fault before him” (Ephesians 1:4 GNT). God wants a long-term relationship with us. People who do not know God miss the very point for which he put them on this planet. And that’s tragic!
2. Evangelism was Jesus’ mission—and we’re called to do likewise.
The Bible makes it clear that Jesus’ mission is “to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10 NIV). Because we were created to be like Christ, our mission should be the same as his. In fact, in John 17:18, Jesus spells this out even more specifically: “In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world” (The Message).
Jesus repeats this message over and over in the New Testament. If I’m a Christian, my mission in life isn’t optional—it’s a command. We’re either obedient to do what Jesus did or we’re not.
3. Evangelism is our responsibility.
The Bible says, “When I tell wicked people they will die because of their sins, you must warn them to turn from their sinful ways so they won’t be punished. If you refuse, you are responsible for their death” (Ezekiel 3:18 CEV). God makes it clear that if people around us are headed for hell and we don’t share the Gospel with them, we’re responsible. People are in our lives for a reason. If we don’t tell them about Jesus and they spend an eternity away from God, that’s on them—but it’s on us, too.
4. Evangelism is a privilege.
Second Corinthians 5:20 reminds us that we have the privilege of being “Christ’s ambassadors.” We have the opportunity to represent the King of Kings to the people in our lives. It’s a privilege to serve as an ambassador for a government. But it’s a much, much bigger privilege to represent the Creator of the universe to our friends, family, and neighbors—along with those who live on the other side of the planet. That’s the opportunity we have as we tell others about Jesus!
5. Evangelism shows your gratitude for what Jesus has done for you.
Too often we forget what the Good News really is. The Bible tells us, “At that time you were without Christ. . . . You had no hope and were in the world without God” (Ephesians 2:12 GW). God has rescued us! If we had a cure for cancer and didn’t share it, that would be criminal. We know the only way to have a relationship with God. We’ve experienced it. If we don’t share it with others, we’re acting ungratefully.
6. People are hopelessly lost without Christ.
Acts 4:12 tells us that Jesus is the only one who can save us. People are lost without Christ. He is the only way for people to get to heaven. God could have written the Good News in the sky. Instead, he has chosen to share it through us. Billions around the world (and in our neighborhoods) need to hear it. If we don’t share it, who will?
7. God wants everyone saved.
Second Peter 3:9 says that God “does not want anyone to be lost” (NCV). That means you’ll never look at anyone whom God doesn’t want to save. No one is too bad. No one is too forgotten. No one is too far from God. If God wants every person to be saved, we should, too.
8. You’ll be rewarded for eternity.
The Bible says, “Remember that you will receive your reward from the Lord, which he promised to his people. You are serving the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:24 NCV). We’ll be rewarded in heaven for leading people to Christ.
9. God’s timetable for history hinges on us completing our mission.
Many people want to know when Jesus will return. It’s one of the most popular topics in some Christian circles. The truth is, we don’t know when Jesus will come back. Jesus makes it very clear in Matthew 24 that no one knows the date of his return.
But we do know what will happen first. The Bible says, “The Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14 NLT). Tell the people in your congregation that if they want to see Jesus come back, they need to go tell people about Jesus!
10. We’ll be glad when we see people in heaven.
Luke 15:7 tells us, “In the same way, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine respectable people who do not need to repent” (GNT). They throw a party in heaven when someone comes to faith in Jesus.
When we get to heaven, we’ll see people we had a hand in bringing there. We won’t think about the time it cost us to build each relationship. We won’t consider the embarrassment when sharing didn’t go as planned. We’ll be thrilled to see those people in heaven!
Your congregation needs to know how to tell others about Jesus. But keep reminding them why. I’m convinced that if you explain these 10 biblical reasons to share your faith with your congregation, people will only have one legitimate response.
It’s Paul’s response in Acts 20:24: “I want to carry out the mission I received from the Lord Jesus—the mission of testifying to the Good News of God’s kindness”(GW).
Imagine what God would do in your community if every person in your church said that!