Third personal evangelism point:
Invite that person to experience life with Christ.
If all we do is pray for someone’s conversion and invest in them spiritually without sharing the gospel, we have missed the entire reasoning for the first two emphases. Evangelism does not take place without an adequate presentation of the gospel of Jesus Christ in order to reconcile people to God (2 Cor. 5:20). Our job is to meet people where they are (Acts 17:22:31) with the intention of bringing them to Jesus (John 1:41-42). Jesus demonstrated a missional manner in how He would lovingly engage sinners but compassionately challenge them to desire for God to change their lives (John 4:4-42).
If someone confesses with his or her mouth that Jesus is Lord and believes in his or her heart that God raised Christ from the dead, then Scripture reveals that person is saved (Rom. 10:9). But before anyone can make that decision, someone must go to that person and explain the gospel (Rom. 10:14-15). While many Christians are intimidated by this task (2 Cor. 3:5-6), the mission team must encourage members to see this task as a blessed privilege to proclaim the excellencies of Christ who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Pet. 2:9)!
Not every person we share with will become a Christian. Every time we share the gospel, we might be able to plant a seed or reap the harvest, but our job is simply to be obedient to Christ’s command and we can trust Him for the results (1 Cor. 3:6-7). When someone responds negatively, that does not mean we give up on that person – we must keep investing in them. For those that do walk across the threshold of salvation, they are already at an advantage concerning discipleship since they have a close relationship with the person who was there with them from the beginning of their new life. Assimilation into North Side will be most effective and the easiest when individual members are the ones leading them to Christ and not an event or program.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.