Starting in September and continuing through October, the Young Calvinist Committee held four workshops to help the young people and young adults be more proactive in evangelism. These workshops set a foundation for these young people and young adults in their life of evangelism. They helped comfort them and gave them a reason not to fear evangelizing; it also guided them in how to evangelize. I hope that each of the workshops will serve to bring a desire to witness in the hearts and minds of these young people and young adults.
The first of the four workshops began the series by asking, “Why?” Why should we evangelize? We possess a great truth, the truth of a Savior who came down to this world to save us, such wretched sinners. We have the truth of salvation! Romans 3:23 states, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” and Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Just that simple truth should cause joy to pour out of our hearts and also cause a great desire to show this truth to others. Salvation alone is sufficient enough motivation for us to spread the truth.
However, salvation is not the only reason. God commands us in Acts 13:47, “I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.” Not only should we want to, but we are commanded to just as all the apostles were. It is a God-given calling to go into the world and evangelize.
The second workshop followed up with another question. We now see the reason to evangelize, but what do we use to carry out that calling? We must use the truth of salvation and the good news of the Gospel. What is the Gospel? The Gospel is the story of our salvation starting with the perfect and holy Creator of all things. The One who created man. Man who exists to give God the glory. And that same man who fell into sin and, because of that fall, is worthy of eternal damnation. But because of Christ we have hope! The hope that His life of perfect obedience is imputed to us, the hope that His death has paid the punishment we deserve, and the hope of His resurrection which conquered death for us so there is no longer any pain in death, no more sting. It is this great God who loves us and because of that love, sent His Son to die for us and for our sins. This is a great comfort. The world looks at death with great fear. Bringing this truth to the world can give comfort in everything but especially in death. Christ’s love for His people is deep, personal, and assuring. Go and share the love of Christ, the truth of the gospel, to those who have never felt it before! What a great joy it would be to be shown the gospel truth by someone who evangelizes to one of us.
The first workshop discussed why, the second discussed what, and the third taught us how. How ought we to evangelize to someone who may have never heard the gospel before? The proper way to tell someone of your faith in Jesus Christ is with meekness. What does that look like? Listening to those who you are evangelizing to can help you understand them. To understand their situation and what they have gone through is a big part of evangelizing with a meek heart. Be willing to say something that may be personal because if you say something vulnerable, they will be more willing to say something vulnerable or personal in response. You can use the personal thing that they said to bring the conversation closer and closer to their beliefs and your beliefs.
The third workshop also gave us helpful tips on what to say to get you to a conversation in which you can evangelize. We discussed how to go from a basic greeting to having a conversation with them about Christ and the good news of the gospel. A way to do this is to ask them questions that will prompt them to tell a story rather than a short answer. Also after they talk, have some way to follow up bringing you to a conversation about your or their beliefs. The speech that night was done by Rev. Dennis Lee. He focused on the gospel call given by Jesus to Matthew’s colleagues and family, found in Mark 2:14-17. It is here that Jesus called Matthew to be a disciple. Jesus visited with Matthew, his family, and with Matthew’s publican co-workers. The Pharisees didn’t understand why Jesus would fellowship with sinners, but Jesus was there as a witness. He was instructing them and bringing them the gospel, and they followed Him.
In the last workshop, we discussed fear: the fear of man and the fear of God. When you think about going to someone and sharing your faith with them, it may frighten you a little, because of all the things that could go wrong. What if they disagree and our friendship is ruined? What if I say something wrong? What if I don’t know what to say or can’t give an answer? These are some legitimate fears one might have in evangelizing. All four of these workshops, however, helped us with those fears and made us more comfortable. But there is nothing that gives us more assurance in evangelizing than fearing the Lord. He will give you the words to speak. Colossians 4:3 says, “Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance…” But also remember what you are saying to them. You are bringing the very Word of God, which is the good news of the gospel, and the story of your Savior. There is nothing more comforting than that. You’re speaking of Christ the Lord (2 Corinthians 4:5). Mr. Deane Wassink shared some of his experiences to show that evangelizing does sometimes work—God does work through you to bring His people under His wings. He also assured us that even if the evangelizing doesn’t work, you still gave God the glory. God will use you as a weak means, and God will use the means of evangelism. Don’t be afraid to evangelize. Don’t fear man, but fear God.
These workshops were very helpful in instructing us on how to evangelize. Those who were there sat at a table and together discussed certain topics and Bible verses. Some tables brought their discussions and ideas up to be presented and shared with all. They were well attended and enjoyable, but also very helpful and encouraging. They caused me to be excited and have a desire to evangelize to those who I come into contact with.
The main thing to take away from these four workshops is to go and evangelize because evangelism is a good gift of God and also rewarding when you bring someone to the truth. And also there is no reason not to. These workshops were comforting because they made clear that the Lord is on your side. Not only did the workshops help with what to say, and how to say it, but they gave helpful examples for situations you may come across. And finally they showed us why. God calls us to go to all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, so with this knowledge we are prepared to fulfill this command of Christ to evangelize.
This document was compiled by the Young Calvinists and contains a summary of some of the content of the workshops, as well as additional resources helpful for use in personal evangelism.