What is evangelism? And how do we evangelise? Evangelism is to tell others what you know or believe to be true. Jesus gave clear instructions to go into all the world and share the good news about God’s plan of redemption. Here are some principles associated with relational evangelism which I have observed.
Relational evangelism is authentic, genuine and sincere. When we have an authentic relationship with God, we will have a genuine desire to share Him with others around us. They will know if we are trying to hard sell “God” to them, or if we are in authentic relationship with God. When the relationship is true, what we say bears weight; it has depth and substance. Our lives produce God’s fruit.
I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. John 15:5 MSG
Relational evangelism is natural. Who we are in Christ, is how we demonstrate and represent Christ to others. When they meet us, we naturally display God’s love and character through our personality and character to them. Our only agenda becomes to demonstrate the life of Jesus, to become God with skin on to others. When we relate to people naturally, they respond in like manner open up to us.
Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other. John 13:35 MSG
Relational evangelism is personal. When you connect with an idea, it can be impersonal. But when you connect with a person, every exchange has meaning and becomes personal. God did not give the world an idea, but He gave us the person of Jesus. God wanted to connect with us personally, and we have now been given this mandate.
This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. John 3:16-17 MSG
Relational evangelism is process oriented. Relational evangelism lends towards a kind of “pre-Christian discipleship” in the way that it is process oriented. By being in a long term friendship or relationship with someone, we are able to see the process of what God is doing in their life and their response to Him. We have the opportunity to be an ongoing part of this process.
Just as You commissioned and sent Me into the world, I also have commissioned and sent them (believers) into the world. John 17:18 AMP
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you. Matthew 28:19-20 AMP
Relational evangelism is team oriented. God likes to use many members of the body to complete His missions. God often choses not just one person or event to draw people to Himself, but multiple people or events to do His work. It is not about us as individuals, but we, collectively, are Christ’s representatives and ambassadors to the people of the world.
That is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting people’s sins against them [but cancelling them]. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation [that is, restoration to favor with God]. So we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His appeal through us; we [as Christ’s representatives] plead with you on behalf of Christ to be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:19-20 AMP