Friday, September 5, 2014

Is Evangelism Possible Today

Is Evangelism Possible Today by Keith Cook

I don't care about my own life. The most important thing is that I finish my work. I want to finish the work that the Lord Jesus gave me to do-to tell people the Good News about God's grace.  Acts 20:24 (New Century Version -NCV)

Editors Note:  This devotion is longer than usual and comes from an article that Keith was asked to write for the Mission America Coalition on Proclamation Evangelism Today.  Thanks for your support of On The Go Ministries, the Keith Cook Team, and Proclamation Evangelism.

Modern day proclamation evangelism and personal outreach methods are very effective and extremely creative.  Every day someone dreams up a new way to share Jesus with someone else; a new iPhone app, a clever gospel booklet, an innovative and fresh way to draw teens to listen in mass at a soccer stadium. It is a very exciting time to be involved in and championing evangelism.

Yet many who are not actively involved in evangelism understand or appreciate the complexities of the ministry of proclamation or personal evangelism.  The occasional abuses by some well meaning yet short sighted practitioner of evangelism have been magnified and demonized to try to put a damper on the fires of evangelism. But the fire still burns in the heart of every true believer to do the work of the evangelist. Even if they do not know how, or why, they still know they should, and if God was willing they could do whatever He wanted them to do in evangelism.

When you say the word evangelism today many people laugh at you, criticize you, or pity you. And when you say proclamation evangelism the scorn, pity, and head shaking is even more intense. But the ministry of proclamation evangelism has a very royal and strategic place in God's redemptive plan for man. Many well meaning believers, pastors, bloggers, and even educators are culturally piling on to bury the ministry of proclamation evangelism in our modern culture.

They say it is outdated, old fashioned, culturally insensitive, not effective, shallow, not worth the time - money - energy. They believe that the churches resources and energies could be better spent just loving on people and living right. Yet deep down, in any real servant leader of Christ, there is a spiritual discernment that just loving others and living right will not be enough to fulfill the great commission. In fact by just living right and loving people we will be in danger of not producing modern day disciples of Christ but will produce lazy Christians who lack wisdom and discernment, and are neglecting the real needs of others around them, running the risk of living well below God's will for their lives.

Often critics of proclamation evangelism are hiding behind fear, laziness, lack of knowledge, loss of first love, and the sin of disobedience to not do or help with proclamation evangelism. Let's face it, doing evangelism correctly takes work. It is easier to play church with believers than to actively confront the lost secular mindset. It is difficult to run headlong into political correctness, humanism, intellectualism, and tolerance every minute of every day. It is easier to sit around praising God, running from one Jesus party to the next. It is more "soulishly" exciting to do good works and feel good about oneself afterward. There is great pride in building up ones Biblical knowledge to know something that someone else does not know. But all the human, soulish, and possibly even at times, carnal, expressions of doing ministry do not proclaim Christ publicly.

But it is also sobering to be reminded that not everyone believes in Christ. It is even more sobering to realize that, contrary to public opinion, or a Gallop Poll, not believing in Jesus really does result in someone not going to Heaven. Saying that is not being bigoted, judgmental, using hate speech, or being mean spirited. It is being Biblical and it is the foundation of the Gospel message, and based on eternal truth. Wishing, voting, forgetting, avoiding, neglecting, hoping, or pretending does not make the reality go away.

As a proclamation evangelist and trainer of proclamation evangelists, I can honestly say that I know that evangelism is not done, nor should it be done, one particular way. Doing evangelism is not always effective using one particular method. There is a time and place for: One On One Evangelism, Local Church Evangelism, Event Evangelism, Personal Evangelism, Friendship Evangelism, Mass Evangelism, Proclamation Evangelism, Sports Evangelism, Music, Arts, Drama, Street, Door To Door, Prayer, Neighborhood, Inner City, Community wide, Social Evangelism, Acts Of Kindness - Season Of Service - GoCare - Compassion, Affinity Evangelism, Marketplace Evangelism, Social Media Evangelism, Literature Evangelism, Media Evangelism, Long Term Evangelism, Short Term Evangelism, Crisis Evangelism, Divine Appointment Evangelism, Targeted Evangelism (age, gender), and many more expressions or techniques to mention.

The key to doing effective proclamation evangelism today is:

1. Deciding to do proclamation evangelism as a part of a total ministry and outreach program
2. Constantly seeking the right way to proclaim the Good News (some old, some new methods)
3. Prayerfully asking God for the right time, place, and anointing to effectively share the Gospel

What You Could Do!
Demonstrate the right way to do every kind of evangelism you do.
Explain your reasons, motives, expectations, plans, and long term benefits and followup plans.
Practice and be prepared ahead of time.
Do not take anything for granted or assume anything.
Do not take the easy way out or skip any necessary elements in doing evangelism right.
Use proven methods, ministries, ministers, artists, athletes, materials.
Once you have earned the right to be heard - say something!
Whatever you say, make it worth hearing. Whatever you sing, make it worth listening to. Whatever you perform, make it worth watching.
Never take the cheap way out when it comes to safety, reputation, or effectiveness.
Never waste funds, resources, or opportunities.

Daily Prayer Focus: Proclamation Evangelism Across the Globe.  Pray for Evangelists and their Families that God will continue to give them visions and dreams, strength, resources, protection, and boldness.  Pray for the Lost that they see their URGENT Need for Jesus Christ.

On The Go Prayer Focus: On The Go Prayer Focus: Joan Cook's "Women On The Go" Ministries. Joan's "Women On The Go" programs are implemented at women's conferences, local churches, retreats, and separate stand-alone events. God has given her a burden to minister to and encourage women in their walk with the Lord. Pray for Joan as she ministers and shares from her heart and as she presents motivational, evangelistic programs, materials, and leadership to and for women that will challenge and motivate them to a deeper walk with the Lord.

Thank you for taking the time to pray for this important division of On The Go Ministries. For more information on any our ministries here at On The Go, you may send your questions to

On The Go Daily Devotional for September 5, 2014
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