Every other week we’re taking a deep dive into one of the 20 spiritual gifts recognized by the Methodist church. Spiritual gifts are the super human abilities that God has given to you to help spread the love, grace, and glory of God’s kingdom. When you know your spiritual gifts, you are empowered to serve you neighbor in a way that suits your passion and purpose. Sign up for our Gifted to Serve class on February 10 at 9:30 or 11 am to learn more about your gifts. Take the Gifted to Serve Discovery as your first step.
This week, let’s take a look at the gift of evangelism.
Evangelism has gotten a bad rap in the last couple of decades because it has been seen as intrusive, intolerant of, or inconsiderate of other cultures. This couldn’t be further from the truth, although most of us can think of examples of people or groups who have misused evangelism. Evangelism was the cornerstone of the Wesleyan movement. It’s all about intimate relationships, genuine connection, and sharing of your most personal faith experiences. Does that last sentence tug at your heart a little bit? You might have the gift of evangelism!
Here is how we define the gift of evangelism:
The ability to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with those who have not heard it before or with those who have not yet decided for Christ in such a compelling way that the hearer can decide to accept Christ as Lord and Savior.
This gift is manifested in both one-one-one situations and in group settings, both large and small. Evangelism is an intimate relationship with another person or persons that requires the sharing of personal faith experience and a call for a response of faith to God.
Once the cornerstone of the Wesleyan movement, evangelism has been set back over the years. We have spent more time “preaching to the choir” rather than taking the good news of Jesus Christ out into the world. Disciple making is dependent upon evangelism in all its many forms.
Some major characters in the Bible have the gift of evangelism, the first being Mary Magdalene. She was the very first person to be commissioned by Jesus. And she was commissioned to share her testimony and then also to give His Word. She was the first to evangelize to the disciples about what she had seen and told them to believe.
Philip was one of the seven deacons appointed to tend the Christians of Jerusalem, thereby enabling the Apostles to freely conduct their missions. His energetic preaching, however, earned him the title of Philip the Evangelist and led him to minister successfully in Samaria, in Palestine, where he converted, among others, the famous magician Simon Magus (Acts 8:9–13). Later, on the road from Jerusalem to Gaza, he instructed and baptized a court official from Ethiopia.
Evangelism in scripture:
One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Anointed). He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).
The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” – John 1:40-49 (NRSV)
What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you came to believe, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose, and each will receive wages according to the labor of each. – 1 Corinthians 3:5-8 (NRSV)
The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. – Ephesians 4:11-14 (NRSV)
As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully. – 2 Timothy 4:5 (NRSV)
These are just a few ways you can serve at Trietsch with the gift of evangelism:
- Reporter/ journalist
- Small Group Leader
- Communion Server
- Upward Sports Devotions
- VBS Director
If you have questions about spiritual gifts, where you can serve, or how your gift can be used outside of Trietsch, email Denise Robinson at firstname.lastname@example.org.