Start Here. Start Now.

“But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”  2 Timothy 4:5

We are called to do the work of an evangelist.  Actually, let me say that more bluntly: YOU ARE CALLED TO DO THE WORK OF AN EVANGELIST.

All week I’ve been talking about evangelism and what it is and what it isn’t.  I’ve already made it clear that evangelism doesn’t mean standing on a corner and yelling at people to repent before they go to hell (see video above for many ways to NOT do the work of evangelist).

But the issue still remains that I have to do something.  I cannot sit back and do nothing and claim that evangelism isn’t for me.  I am called to be evangelist and to do the work of an evangelist.  Whatever talents and gifts God has given me, I have to somehow figure out how to use those in a way for the purpose of witnessing for God.  And as I said yesterday, that can take many different shapes and forms, but the inescapable point is this: I AM CALLED TO DO THE WORK OF AN EVANGELIST.

But the major question is this:  How should I start? 

I believe the answer to this question is a lot simpler than most people realize.  If you look at when Jesus gave the Great Commission after His resurrection, He told His disciples to bear witness of Him “in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

He told them to start in Jerusalem.  Why Jerusalem?

I think we sometimes overcomplicate the matter and come up with theories for things that weren’t meant to be explained. I believe Jesus told them to start in Jerusalem for one simple reason…THAT’S WHERE THEY WERE AT THE TIME!

In other words, He was trying to tell them to keep it simple.  Don’t overcomplicate it.  This witnessing thing isn’t meant to make you quit your job or completely change your lifestyle.  It might mean that for some of you at some point, but for now, let’s keep it simple.  Where are you right now?  Jerusalem?  Ok, let’s start there.  We won’t end there – we’ll eventually expand the circle a bit – but for now, let’s just start with something.  You’re in Jerusalem?  Start with Jerusalem then.

Simple, right?  The command to evangelism isn’t necessarily a command to hop on a plane to Africa overnight.  It is a command to go through your day bringing Christ to as many people as you can.

Bring Christ to your workplace.  Bring Christ to your school.  Bring Christ to the restaurant as you interact with the waiter.  Bring Christ with you to church (I know that sounds funny to say) as you greet one another after the service.  BRING CHRIST WITH YOU EVERYWHERE YOU GO TODAY.

Sometimes I think we focus so much on going to “the ends of the world” that we neglect the command to start in Jerusalem – or wherever you are right now.  The key isn’t the location; the key is the desire to start today.  Start now.  Start here.

I promise you that today, there will be many opportunities in front of you.  I have no doubt about that.  The opportunities are there and they’ve always been there.  The question is, will you be looking for them or not?

For discussion: after a week of discussing the subject of evangelism, what changes in mindset or behavior do you think God is calling you to make?