[I love training others in evangelism, and I do it for churches and InterVarsity Chapters all the time. If you would like me to come to your church or ministry and facilitate evangelism training, please email me to set up a time]
This weekend at our Regional Evangelism Conference “Ignite” I watched at least 500 students get vision, training and empowerment around the apostolic, prophetic and evangelistic giftings.
A word was preached imploring us to live by faith and start the new things God is calling us to go do. There were multiple seminars on topics like “Justice and evangelism” “Turning every day conversations into spiritual ones” “Starting new things with God” and “how to start prayer movements that empower evangelistic culture”.
I watched them hear from God, get trained and make plans to do what God asked them to do. I couldn’t help but think of who will be coming to faith on campus this year. I was reminded of this tweet I got last year just days after my seminar I led on spiritual conversations.
This tweet and this conference brought joy to my heart as I knew we were raising up more A.P.E. leaders. We are bringing a more complete and full picture of Jesus to each other, the campus and the world.
It brought together what Paul makes plain in Ephesians 4:1-16
Releasing the five-fold ministry is what shows the full expression of the church, and therefore Jesus. Without all five, we are showing just a shadow of who He is.
Unfortunately what I got to witness this weekend is not the norm in the church as many subscribe to a belief that the A.P.E. is not for today or if it is, it is only for leaders.
Thankfully this ordinary woman didn’t believe that “only a church leader could do this” and she got to experience the best joy in the world…seeing a friend come to faith because of her partnership with God.
**UPDATED at 8:55pm**
I just received this facbook update on our InterVarsity site. This is a report from just this last weekend.
Here’s a praise: a frosh who came to Ignite was physically healed.
During the healing prayer time, God stretched her shortened leg (from a ski accident and birth defect combo) 1-1.5 inches. So her legs are now almost the same length. Her back and hip problems are now clearing up. God also stretched her faith–as you might imagine.
She’s testifying at large group tonight. We’ll see what our community thinks of physical healing miracles. Thank you, Lord, for your mercy!
What Evangelists Do
The seminar I taught at ignite was called “How to turn everyday conversations into spiritual ones” and I teach students out of Acts 8 how Philip is able to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and go where the Spirit sends Him.
Philip is willing to be out of control and he is wiling to follow. Furthermore, Philip is willing to put himself into very awkward positions (standing next to a Chariot!!!) for the possibility of a spiritual conversation and a breakthrough with Jesus.
Philip is also bold and willing to ask the Ethiopian about what he is reading and if he understands. Philip is your quintessential bold evangelist and I take a few direct points from him on “what evangelists do”.
- They listen to the Holy Spirit and follow Him no matter the cost
- They are willing to be put in awkward situations for the Lord
- They are good listeners and find places of conversation
- They are bold and speak up inside that awkward moment
- People come to faith when they get involved.
I love Philip so much and he challenges me and fires me up! There are many different types of evangelists (Like Jesus with the woman at the well) so this does not have to be our only picture. In the weeks to come I will unpack the role of the evangelist even more! But let me leave you with a thought.
Awkwardness always precedes breakthrough
This statement and reality above is the reason most of us never see people come to faith. For most of us, as soon as we feel or see an awkward moment coming, we bail on the situation. Right after the awkward moment with Philip standing by the chariot, breakthrough comes when he hears the guy reading and boldly but gently inserts himself into the situation. Evangelists engage awkward moments because breakthrough is right around the corner and they believe that with all their heart!
I cannot think of a time I have led someone to faith, where there wasn’t a bit of awkwardness before. Awkwardness can be from us, (which we want to minimize. I am not suggesting for us to be awkward!!) but it also can be from them or the very fact that the kingdom of Satan is warring with the Kingdom of God in these moments. There is a spiritual tension and tension can cause awkwardness.
Push through and wear it for the sake of your friends!
Can you recall a time where you pushed through an awkward situation and breakthrough came in evangelism? Or maybe a time when you bailed, and now you are thinking to yourself, “man, I wished I would have pushed through that one…”
[If you would like me to come to your church or ministry and facilitate training on evangelism and/or take you through this particular training I did at “Ignite”, please email me to set up a time]
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