By Owen Cosgrove

We have heard the word “evangelism” many times. The word literally means “good-news-izing” or telling God’s good news to the world. The word suggests at least five basic concepts needed to win others to Christ, and when these five things are done, evangelism will work.

1.   EFFORT. Evangelize is a verb — an action word — something that is done. God’s word is like a seed, with unlimited potential, but it must be propagated [spread] if it is to produce.

2.   FRIENDSHIP. Without compromising and without browbeating, evangelism is an effort of winsomeness — of winning another to the Lord. This cannot be done by hatefulness and antagonism. The one who is to be sought and won must realize something of the love and the care on the part of the soul-winner.

3.   FAITH. Weak faith in the teacher cannot stir strong faith in the learner. It takes fire to set fire, and the one who believes and teaches in question marks [doubt] rather than exclamation points [faith] cannot be a soul winner.

4.   SIMPLICITY. The world is already confused. People are not seeking the questionable, the murky, and the confusing things of life. They long for simple truths that give meaning and order to life and which give hope. Jesus did simple, direct, forceful teaching. “He taught them as one having authority and not as their scribes.”

5.   JOY. The very words “good news” suggest joy. Coleridge said in order to write good poetry, one must have inner joy. In order to do anything well, one must have that delight and happiness of discovery, direction, and determination.

Evangelism is not only the greatest need of the world today, it is the greatest need of the church. Nothing enlivens a church more than this great duty given by the Lord, and nothing retards the church more than the neglect of this sacred responsibility.

Christ’s clarion commission is to evangelize. And it all starts with one individual determining to win one soul to Christ.