In “Evangelism Training with Paul Washer – Part 1 of Video Series,” Paul Washer delivers a powerful message on evangelism and the importance of every member of the church being a witness. He emphasizes the key characteristics of a genuine disciple and highlights the need for Christians to reflect those characteristics in their lives. Washer stresses the significance of poverty of spirit, brokenness, mourning over sin, gentleness, hunger and thirst for righteousness, mercy, pure heart, peacemaking, and righteousness that leads to persecution. By embodying these characteristics, genuine witnesses can have a profound impact on the world. Rather than focusing solely on doing evangelism, Washer encourages Christians to focus on being witnesses through their lives and character.
In the same vein, MacArthur II discusses the Gospel and the significance of genuine devotion to Christ in evangelism. He emphasizes the importance of having a pure heart and being a peacemaker. MacArthur also highlights the need for personal growth, wisdom, and discernment in evangelism, as well as the essential role of prayer. Furthermore, he emphasizes the importance of genuine love, compassion, and grace when sharing the Gospel and building relationships with others. MacArthur illustrates the idea that deepening one’s relationship with Christ and following the guidance of the Holy Spirit are crucial in all aspects of evangelism and Christian living.
Evangelism is often seen as the responsibility of pastors or street preachers, but it is actually a responsibility that every member of the church should take on. In Matthew 5:13-16, Jesus emphasizes the importance of being the salt and light of the world. To be an effective witness, we need to possess certain characteristics and have a genuine dependence on God. Rather than focusing solely on doing evangelism, we should focus on being a witness through our lives and character. In this article, we will explore the characteristics of a genuine disciple, the impact of genuine witnesses, building relationships and showing genuine interest, the importance of personal growth and Christ-likeness, the significance of prayer in evangelism, and evangelizing and teaching our children.
II. The Importance of Being an Effective Witness
A. Evangelism should be a responsibility of every member of the church
Evangelism should not be limited to pastors or street preachers. As followers of Christ, it is our responsibility to share the good news with others and be witnesses of His love and grace.
B. Matthew 5:13-16 emphasizes the characteristics of an effective witness
In Matthew 5:13-16, Jesus talks about being the salt and light of the world. He highlights the importance of possessing certain characteristics to be an effective witness and impact the world around us.
C. Genuine witnesses reflect certain characteristics and have a genuine dependence on God
Genuine witnesses are those who reflect the characteristics mentioned by Jesus in Matthew 5:3-12. They are humble, broken, merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, and hunger and thirst for righteousness. They also have a genuine dependence on God, recognizing their own weakness and relying on His strength.
D. Focusing on being a witness through our lives and character
Instead of solely focusing on doing evangelism, it is important to focus on being a witness through our lives and character. Our actions, attitudes, and the way we treat others can have a powerful impact on those around us.
III. Characteristics of a Genuine Disciple
A. Being poor in spirit
Being poor in spirit means recognizing our own weakness and complete dependence on God. It is an attitude of humility and surrender.
Genuine witnesses are broken over their own sin and the sin they see in the world. This brokenness prompts them to seek forgiveness and to extend mercy to others.
C. Mourning over sin
Mourning over sin involves recognizing the devastating effects of sin and desiring to see God’s righteousness prevail. It is a genuine sorrow over the brokenness sin causes.
Gentleness is a characteristic of a genuine disciple. Genuine witnesses treat others with kindness, compassion, and respect, even when faced with opposition.
E. Hunger and thirst for righteousness
Genuine witnesses have a deep longing for righteousness and a desire to grow in their relationship with God. They seek to live in accordance with His will and His Word.
Showing mercy is an important characteristic of a genuine disciple. Genuine witnesses extend forgiveness and compassion to others, recognizing that they too are in need of God’s mercy.
G. Pure in heart
A genuine disciple strives to have a pure heart, free from sin and devoted to honoring God. They seek to live a life that is pleasing to Him.
Peacemakers actively work towards peace and reconciliation. They strive to resolve conflicts and promote unity among believers and in the world.
I. Righteousness that leads to persecution
Genuine witnesses understand that their commitment to righteousness may lead to persecution. They are willing to endure hardship and opposition for the sake of Christ.
IV. Impact of Genuine Witnesses
A. Genuine witnesses can have a great impact on the world
When genuine disciples reflect the characteristics of Christ, they can have a profound impact on the world around them. Their words and actions can draw others to Christ and demonstrate the transformative power of the gospel.
B. Genuine witnesses mourn over sin and its effects
Genuine witnesses are deeply troubled by the presence of sin in the world. They mourn over its devastating effects on individuals and society and are motivated to bring healing and redemption through the gospel.
C. Genuine witnesses exhibit gentleness
Genuine witnesses treat others with gentleness, kindness, and respect. They do not respond to hostility or opposition with anger or aggression but instead seek to foster understanding and dialogue.
D. Genuine witnesses trust in the Lord
Genuine witnesses trust in the Lord and rely on His guidance and strength. They do not rely on their own abilities or strategies, but instead place their confidence in God’s faithfulness and sovereignty.
E. Genuine witnesses cultivate faithfulness
Genuine witnesses strive to live lives of faithfulness to God. They are committed to following His commands and seeking His will in all aspects of their lives.
F. Genuine witnesses do not envy or become angry with the wicked
Genuine disciples do not envy or become angry with those who are wicked or oppose the gospel. Instead, they demonstrate love and compassion, recognizing that all people are in need of God’s grace.
G. Genuine witnesses focus on their own godliness
Rather than being consumed with comparing themselves to others or judging the wicked, genuine witnesses focus on cultivating their own godliness. They seek to grow in Christ-likeness and allow the Holy Spirit to work in and through them.
V. Building Relationships and Showing Genuine Interest
A. Witnessing involves showing genuine interest in others
Effective witnessing involves taking the time to genuinely care for others and show interest in their lives. It is about building relationships based on love and compassion.
B. Building relationships before sharing the Gospel
Before sharing the Gospel, it is important to build relationships with people. This can involve asking about their lives, listening attentively, and showing kindness and understanding.
C. Sharing stories about showing mercy and caring for others
Sharing personal stories about acts of mercy and caring for others can be a powerful way to demonstrate the love of Christ and spark conversations about faith.
D. Emphasizing the importance of genuinely caring for people in evangelism
In evangelism, it is crucial to emphasize the importance of genuinely caring for people. When we show genuine love and compassion, we reflect the heart of Christ and open doors for sharing the gospel.
E. Normal interactions with people and getting to know them
Effective witnessing is not about forced conversations or scripted presentations. It is about having normal interactions with people, getting to know them, and allowing opportunities for the sharing of faith to naturally arise.
VI. Importance of Personal Growth and Christ-likeness
A. Significance of having a pure heart
Having a pure heart is essential in being an effective witness. A pure heart reflects the character of Christ and allows the Holy Spirit to work through us.
B. Being a peacemaker
Being a peacemaker involves actively working towards reconciliation and unity. Peacemaking reflects the heart of God and can lead to opportunities for sharing the gospel.
C. Utilizing wisdom and discernment in evangelism
Wisdom and discernment are essential in evangelism. Genuine witnesses seek God’s guidance in their interactions with others and trust in His leading.
D. Prayer as a foundation for all aspects of Christian life and ministry
Prayer is vital in all aspects of Christian life and ministry, including evangelism. Genuine witnesses rely on prayer as a foundation for their efforts, seeking God’s guidance and power.
E. Genuine love and compassion in sharing the Gospel
Sharing the gospel should be rooted in genuine love and compassion for others. When we genuinely care for people, our words and actions carry more weight and can have a greater impact.
F. Handling conversations about faith with grace and tact
Conversations about faith should be approached with grace and tact. Genuine witnesses seek to have respectful and loving dialogue, allowing space for questions and doubts.
G. Deepening one’s relationship with Christ and being led by the Holy Spirit
To be an effective witness, it is important to deepen our relationship with Christ and be led by the Holy Spirit. Genuine witnesses rely on the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit in all aspects of their lives.
VII. Importance of Prayer in Evangelism
A. Story about Martyn Lloyd-Jones and the importance of prayer
A story is shared about Martyn Lloyd-Jones, highlighting the importance of prayer in the lives of great men of God. Prayer is not just a religious duty but a means of communing with God and seeking His will.
B. Devoting oneself to prayer
Genuine witnesses understand the importance of devoting themselves to prayer. Prayer is the act of humbling ourselves before God, seeking His guidance and intervention in the work of evangelism.
C. Praying for open doors and the power of the Holy Spirit
In prayer, genuine witnesses pray for open doors to share the gospel and for the power of the Holy Spirit to be at work in their lives and the lives of those they encounter.
D. Conducting oneself with wisdom and making the most of every opportunity
Prayer is also about seeking wisdom and discernment in how to conduct oneself and make the most of every opportunity to share the gospel. Genuine witnesses recognize that prayer is essential in navigating the complexities of evangelism.
E. Overcoming obstacles through faith and prayer
Genuine witnesses understand that faith and prayer can help overcome obstacles in evangelism. They trust in God’s power and seek His wisdom in navigating challenges and opposition.
VIII. Evangelizing and Teaching Our Children
A. Building relationships
When evangelizing and teaching our children, building relationships is essential. It is important to invest time in getting to know our children and building a foundation of trust and love.
B. Joy in evangelism
Evangelism should be approached with joy and enthusiasm. Genuine witnesses model this joy for their children and inspire them to share God’s love with others.
C. Discipline in teaching our children
Discipline is important in teaching our children about evangelism. It involves setting boundaries, teaching them the Word of God, and instilling in them a love for God and a desire to share His love with others.
D. Fulfilling God’s will without violating His will in another area
As parents, it is important to teach our children to fulfill God’s will without violating His will in another area. Genuine witnesses model a balanced approach to evangelism, seeking to honor God in all aspects of their lives.
In conclusion, evangelism is a responsibility that every member of the church should take on. Genuine witnesses reflect the characteristics of Christ and have a genuine dependence on God. They build relationships, show genuine interest, and share stories of mercy and compassion. Personal growth and Christ-likeness are emphasized, as well as the importance of prayer in all aspects of Christian life and ministry. Evangelizing and teaching our children involve building relationships, fostering joy, disciplining in the Word, and fulfilling God’s will. As we strive to be genuine witnesses, may we reflect the love and grace of Christ to a world in need.