Evangelism Vision: a Lifetime Change

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Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary

Evangelism Vision: A Lifetime Change

A Paper
Submitted to Dr. Harold D. Bryant
In Partial Fulfillment
Of the Requirements for the Course
Contemporary Evangelism
EVAN 565

Michael McKelvey
19 August 2011

What is the first thing that pops into your head when you think of evangelism? That’s scary! Am I going to be rejected? It’s not my spiritual gift! This paper explains the Great Commission and its relationship to evangelism on the vision and challenge of what God is doing in my life in the area of evangelism. It also looks at how I think of evangelism, gives explanation of evangelism and challenges my rethinking on how evangelism could be done in a way to help me begin to share my faith in new and natural way. The Christian interpretation of the Great Commission to share God's Word through evangelism is defined outside the walls of the church and best understood by first discussing the nature of evangelism in Christianity. The writing of Dr. David Earley and Dr. David Wheeler, Dr. Jerry Pipes and Victor Lee, Richard Leach, William Fay, and the videos from Dr. David Wheeler have helped my fears of evangelism. This semester I have learned and developed new perceptions and challenges about evangelism which has challenged my way of thinking. The way I think centers around three aspects of Christian witness: Physical Service, Spiritual Conversation, and Intellectual Conversation. The first aspect of evangelism can be characterized as physical includes things like: Social Justice, Acts of Service; feeding the hungry and clothing the poor—anything that embodies benevolence and/ or philanthropy. It is the physical service that we provide for people who have needs anywhere at any time. For example Dr. Wheeler says that “Ministry evangelism and servant evangelism . . . intentionally seek to meet people’s needs in order to open the doors for the gospel message.” This act of caring service will lead to a Spiritual conversation resulting in the Holy Spirit taking charge. The second aspect of evangelism deals with making spiritual conversation a priority. I think the gospel itself is expressed during this phase. I regularly look at my day and wonder about the conversations I might have with people. I look at my list of friends that I’m praying for and see if I’m being led to go have the next conversation with them. I’m at a stage of life where I don’t have enough contacts; therefore I’ll work at making some. Furthermore, following the Holy Spirits’ lead by verbally proclaiming the gospel and inviting the listener to respond is what we can call proclamation or declaration—it is the verbal expression of the gospel message. McRaney states that, “Ultimately, only God opens and prepares the heart to receive the gospel. It’s also the actual evangelism aspect. I list this second because it then leads into the third aspect. The third aspect of evangelism is intellectual conversation, where I must be able to possess and capable of utilizing Systematic Theology and Apologetic. Saying I use Systematic Theology or Apologetic technique is just a fancy way of organizing my thoughts on what I believe about God and why I am a Christian. Apologetics is how you answer questions concerning the faith that you have and explaining your reasons for holding them. At this point, the use of Fay’s “Share Jesus Without Fear” book will come in handy. But I have learned that ultimately we have to rely on the Holy Spirit—remember our role: we are responsible for contact, while God is responsible for conversion. However, part of that contact doesn’t necessarily involve being prepared to use the intellectual aspect of our Christian witness, but mainly relies on one’s testimony. Dr. Earley says, “Sharing your story makes evangelism personal and relational . . . because when people listen to you, instead of being a professional salesman, you are a satisfied customer. All three are important aspects of the...
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