Personal evangelism

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (‭Colossians‬ ‭4‬:‭2-6‬ ESV)

I’m reading through The Unbelievable Gospel and relearning how to introduce people to Jesus. I was taught in college that the foundation of evangelism is a clear and complete presentation of the gospel. While that’s true, the gospel does need to be taught clearly and completely, it doesn’t need to happen all at once. Paul seems to have a different approach.

Paul, in Colossians 4, explains his approach to teaching the gospel (the mystery of Christ). He says to pray for God to open a door for the gospel to be taught and to teach it clearly. Walk wisely with outsiders, speaking graciously with them. Within the context of that grace-filled relationship, we will know how to teach the gospel clearly when God gives us the opportunity.

Teach the gospel after trust has been established.

Humble advice for young people called to the ministry

Be humble. You’re younger than you realize and it’s not the primary responsibility of any church to be the place where you cut your ministry teeth.

Yes, there are churches that approach the hiring process in a way that’s uncomfortably corporate. They have educational requirements, minimum experience requirements, personality requirements, and a whole host of doctrinal alignment requirements. It’s not your job to judge the way they hire. Submit your resume prayerfully and leave the results in God’s hands.

Don’t be lazy. It’s not enough to have a good-looking resume and a blog (although you should have both). Network (i.e. make friends with people in ministry at other churches), be educated, serve faithfully where you are now, seek opportunities to lead others, communicate like a boss.

One thing young people called to the ministry tend to underestimate is the power of even the slightest bit of leadership experience. I don’t mean preaching experience or counseling experience or teaching experience or ministry planning experience or graphic design experience or social media experience or whatever. I mean, if you’ve never shown initiative to find and fill leadership holes in the place you’re serving in, why should a hiring committee think that you’ll do it once you’ve got a salary?

Please, please, please, learn to communicate like an adult. Your casual language, propensity for the heavy use of emoji, or just plain bad grammar are signals that you are not a good communicator. 80% of ministry success hinges on good, clear communication. If you can’t write like an adult or speak like an adult, how can you expect to lead adults.

I really don’t like the concept of “paying your dues” in ministry. It sounds like some sort of frat rush stage of ministry where you have to do all the un-fun work that the older guys don’t want to do…a glorified internship. But while “paying your dues” is an antiquated phrase, there’s nothing more attractive to a hiring committee than someone who understands that trust and responsibility in an organization are earned from the ground up, not granted by a benevolent visionary who thinks you’re special. Why would someone trust you to lead a ministry when you haven’t shown that you can support a ministry?

Finally, again, be humble. It’s highly unlikely that you’re the next Louie Giglio or Mark Driscoll or David Platt. Keep your calling in perspective to what God is actually asking of you: equip the saints for the work of ministry. That’s it.

…to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
Colossians 1:10 - If you were confused about how to please God, this makes it uncomplicated: love people and learn the Bible.