Evangelism means introducing an individual to a personal relationship with Christ—emphasizing the experience of a lifelong commitment to and journey with Christ that ultimately results in eternal blessings and benefits, but has much to offer right here and now, too.
In that way, evangelism is the first step toward disciplemaking, so that winning souls for Christ really becomes making disciples—not just getting decisions.
Evangelism is a team effort. Within a faith community, systems must be in place that advocate for evangelism and facilitate its implementation, but following Jesus’ example, evangelism must be modeled by leadership as well. It is an experience of the whole Body of Christ and its members; evangelism is not the responsibility of a few assertive evangelists.
With temporal and eternal dimensions, evangelism must be prophetic, speaking to the human condition in the here and now, as well as to the human condition and its relevance to the hereafter. Evangelism impacts its community, speaking to both individuals and institutions and to sinners and the systems they originate and facilitate. Evangelism challenges the soul, and changes society, too.
the joyous witness of the People of God
to the redeeming love of God
urging all to repent
and to be reconciled to God and each other
through faith in Jesus Christ
who lived, died, and was raised from the dead,
being made new
and empowered by the Holy Spirit
believers are incorporated as disciples into the church
for worship, fellowship, nurture and
engagement in God’s mission
of evangelization and liberation within society and creation,
signifying the Kingdom which is present and yet to come.*
* This definition of evangelism appears in the American Baptist Policy Statement on Evangelism.