INVITING IS NOT EVANGELISM
Why is our knee jerk reaction to invite people to church on Sunday when we want to share the gospel with someone? You are the church and you have been equipped every Sunday to be the church. So be it, everyday, everywhere. Inviting is not evangelism. It is one of many means that can lead to evangelism. If the gospel isn’t present, you have not evangelized. One of the biggest problems with viewing inviting people to church as evangelism is that it puts all the responsibility on the pastor and worship leader. You bring a friend to your church and hope they are impressed by the relevant music and moved by the pastor’s great communication skills, integrating witty humor and the gospel. It’s a dangerous game. This mindset can turn the Sunday gathering into a Sunday performance where the church wants to be firing from all cylinders when it comes to presentation, worship, videos, preaching, etc. Imagine what would happen if instead of having the hundreds and thousands of members from churches inviting their friends and family to church in order to hear one pastor preach, we reversed it. What if the church sent out hundreds and thousands of “pastors” to reach their friends and family right where they are? There is no such thing as a missionary. There are just Christians. Nowhere in the bible will you find the word “missionary”. Christians living missional lives should just be second nature, like fish swimming. It’s just what they do.Charles Spurgeon went so far to say, “Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter.” In other words, you are either a Christian on mission or you’re not a Christian at all.
Let me make sure I clarify that inviting people to church is not bad. It just isn’t evangelism. I don’t think anyone should stop. Its an “and” thing, not an “or” thing. You should evangelize “and” invite people to church, not “or” invite people to church. Until we realize that we are the church, we will think we need to bring people to a building on Sunday in order to know God. The Bible says our “body is a temple” for a reason! The church building is not the church until we walk into it on Sunday morning. We are the church. And it is our presence that makes a building a church.
SHARING YOUR TESTIMONY IS NOT EVANGELISM
Your story isn’t the gospel. Sorry. If the gospel isn’t present, then it isn’t evangelism. However, you can integrate the gospel into your story. Unfortunately, 9 times out of 10, when we share our testimony, it goes like this; I use to be this way, Jesus showed up, now I’m this way. The immediate problem with this is that we sell Jesus for his ability to take us out of our problem. Maybe it was just me, but when I first became a Christian, I did this all the time. “Oh, you struggle with ________? So did I. Then I met Jesus.” This is the sticky part; although Jesus is the answer to all our problems, we have to explain why he is. Instead of just inserting Jesus name like a silver bullet, explain the gospel that made him a silver bullet towards the presence, power, and penalty of sin.