If we are going to activate evangelistic people in our ministry, then we have to know what they look like! Sometimes this can be pretty easy if they are highly gifted and are more developed. But if they are a young person it may not be as clear from the surface. You will want to know what to look for. Here are six indicators I often am looking for.
They spend lots of time with people who don’t follow Jesus
Evangelists in your church are going to be people that naturally gravitate towards people who are not following Jesus. Often times they are people that many friends who are not Christian and even prefer to spend time with those people They may say things like, “I like spending time with non Christians more than Christians” or “I can’t spend so much time at church, I have other friends too!”. Evangelistically gifted people naturally relate to and connect with people that don’t know or follow Jesus. They have an uncanny ability to have one foot in the church and one foot in the world. They are natural bridge builders between the two worlds.
Key Question: Who are the people in the ministry that spend lots of time with people outside the ministry?
They love sharing the gospel and seem pretty natural doing so
Evangelists are also very enthused about sharing the gospel with people. These can be the people that you often feel like should “slow down” a bit and let things develop. But they are just too excited! They tend to grasp the gospel message more easily than others and they can put it into articulation more simply that most. Evangelists will tend to be the people asking you for books on sharing the gospel as they are really eager to understand how to talk about Jesus and do so well. The most oblivious way to tell someone is an evangelists is to see that they are leading others to Christ regularly and or their friends they are bringing to church keep coming to the Lord.
Key Question: Who in the ministry is naturally and frequently to share the gospel?
They are regularly encouraging other believers to witness
Evangelistic people are also those that are encouraging others to be a little more bold, a little more confident in talking about Jesus. Look for those people in your ministry that seem to be the one encouraging others to take that risk to invite someone to church or an event or to sit a friend down to talk about Jesus. Evangelistic people often are the ones that others go to for questions and prayer for friends outside the church.
Key Question: Who do others in the church go to for answers to tough questions?
They aren’t very motivated to run programs inside the church
You may have an evangelist on your hands if the person you are talking to is not very motivated about running programs inside your ministry. Often times evangelists aren’t very motivated to run small groups with mostly believers in them or to run groups that care for people already in the church. Being outside the walls connecting with people who don’t know Jesus energizes them. However, if you offered them the ability to run a group for seeking people, they would start glowing! Be careful not to label someone as not teachable or available if they are dragging their feet at running a small group. They may be an evangelist and need a different task.
Key Question: Who are the people that seems unmotivated to lead programs inside the ministry that could be excited to lead something outside or for non believers?
They often are critical about the group not being friendly to outsiders
One of the best ways I find evangelists is by identifying the people that are the most critical about the programs we run in our ministry. It is often the person who feels our meetings are cheesy or the language is too “christianese” for them to bring a friend. It is easy to get defensive with critical people in our ministries, but pay attention. If you have a person that is regularly suggesting that the way you run your group is more open, simpler content or has more engaging content for outsiders, then you may have an evangelist on your hands.
Key Question: Who are the people that seem most critical about the way the group is fit for outsiders?
Host a training and see who shows up!
Another key way that I find evangelists in my ministry is by hosting trainings on sharing the gospel, connecting better with friends who don’t know Jesus, or how to be a powerful inviter. I then watch to see who shows up and who is excited about this training. Often evangelists are the people that are most eager and thankful for this input. They will want more and even be excited to bring others and promote it!
Key Question: If I was to put on a training in evangelism, who would be the most excited for this training?
What else would you add? What are other helpful ways to identify evangelists?