by Janet Mangum
What’s new about evangelism in Aglow? It’s a foundational pillar upon which we build life. So what about it can be new?
- You and I. That’s what can be new in Aglow. How each one of us defines evangelism and discipleship in our personal lives is changing.
When I came forward in a church to give my life to Jesus, I had been attending the church for probably a year. When I came up to that pastor that morning, He said, “I have looked and looked for you month after month, and finally I stopped looking and here you are.”
It’s time to ask ourselves, Have we stopped actively, intentionally looking with expectancy for others to come to Jesus?
The Holy Spirit hasn’t. I’m proof of that!
- When I first started to understand the powerful love of God, I wanted everyone to know Him. My fears, sense of inability and lack of knowledge SCREAMED at me to stop speaking up. “You aren’t any good at this, leave it to the pastors and elders!” “What will people think?” “You don’t know what you are doing.”
My brain kept finding ways to fulfill my fears by keeping my comfort zone well guarded,.. giving me many good excuses for not speaking up. I came to the point where I had to ask myself, even if some of these thoughts are true, right now, is it supposed to matter? I came to the conclusion it wasn’t supposed to matter even if it was true that I didn’t know what I was doing.
How did the transformation begin? Time in the Word of God convinced me. 2 Corinthians 5:14, and 15 became my reality. The love of Christ began to constrain me in the the conviction that One (Jesus) died for all and was raised again for their sake and God would be with me as I reached out to them!
I came to a defining moment when I decided to retrain my brain and just keep practicing. I pushed aside all these thoughts until my brain began to agree with God. (mind emotions and will)
- Scientists today are saying that your brain serves/builds brilliant strategies for you in whatever you prioritize. It gives you strategies to keep what you have said is most precious to you – OR keep away from you what you dread the most.
How many of you have dreaded the thought of speaking up in evangelism?
You get to decide what you dread or what you desire. Your brain doesn’t dictate it first. You do. Then the brain serves what you have believed to be true. It helps you accomplish what you have convinced it you want.
When you are intentional with your practicing, like any exercise, it changes your brains natural pathways. You become empowered with His Words that bring transformation. Your spirit soul and body have come into alignment with His truth.
- I have asked myself and am asking you today, Is it possible you have become so familiar with reading His Words in Matthew 28… to go, make, and train, that you no longer sense your part and or feel their pull to multiply the family of God?
Or, it could be that your beginning exposures to teaching about evangelism has locked these powerful Words into a narrow understanding that excluded you? It caused limitations in who you believe you are and what you believe you can be in the evangelism/discipling work of the Kingdom. My conversations with hundreds of believers over the years, tells me one or both of these thoughts are often true.
I grew up near Disneyland. All the relatives and friends would want to go when they came to visit. They would ask, what’s it like to live so close to such an exciting place that is one of its kind?
I had been so many times, I no longer thought about it. I could see the tip of the Matterhorn from my backyard and watch the 9 pm fireworks each night, so why was that special? It was a common view in my every day life. I missed how wonderful it could be for someone else and I didn’t want to take anyone there again.
My question to us today is, “Is it possible some of the truths you have been reading in your Bible, concerning the area of evangelism and discipleship, have become so common place, or disqualifying in your self evaluation, that limitations abound?”
- Luke 24 tells the story of Jesus, right after His resurrection. He joined two people walking on the road to Emmaus. It shows how someone can easily be in the presence of The WORD Himself and miss it even when they felt their hearts burn when He was speaking.
Why would Jesus go to meet up with two seemingly insignificant people chatting about the recent religious news? They are walking toward Emmaus. Jesus died in Jerusalem, the place where the promised Holy Spirit was to come, right?
But instead, Jesus leaves there and goes walking with these two. Obviously, His desire was that they would know Him.
He wants to walk with you and release the fresh Word of God in you until your hearts burn to act on His promise to be with you as you reach out to people HE DESIRES to know HIM!
- It’s time to no longer discount yourself because of your exposure to certain types of evangelism that just aren’t you. That inside voice that says, “That’s not me,” is correct. You are a unique expression of His dynamic person. His way in and through you is different than some of those you have seen/experienced. But, it doesn’t disqualify you from the powerful commission to go and make disciples.
It only means it’s time to ask God and yourself, “What is me?”
“What can I do?”
“How am I to fulfill God’s commission in my life of making disciples?”
Why is this so imperative? Because the commission is for every believer…not just a few designated believers to go and make disciples.
Matthew 28 is speaking to YOU and I!
- I believe you will fully embrace the truth that Your personality… Your experience…Your age…Your unique expressions of life… are perfect for evangelism and mentoring people in His life-giving ways.
I have seen this to be true over and over again. Every personality can effectively do the work of the evangelist and disciple people.
Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Himself, the Name above every name with all the authority in heaven and earth, meets with two travelers along an insignificant Emmaus road heading away from Jerusalem where the Holy Spirit was to be poured out to reveal Himself to them.
He is for you. He is ready to rekindle the fire in your spirit for revealing Jesus.
He is enabling you, in your own way, to tell both your story of redemption and His story of life eternal. As you decide to fully trust that the commission from Jesus in Matthew 28 “GO and make disciples” is for YOU personally, unexpected encounters with God and people occur along the way. Ask any one of us who have embraced this truth and we will have multitudes of stories that prove its true.
- We trust God’s Word to burn in our hearts. We are trusting it will cause the hearts of those we speak to, to burn, catapulting people into a surprising journey with Jesus. I believe He is asking us to begin to intentionally see what He sees, and expect what He knows can be.
- Let’s stop judging what we think is valuable enough to keep us changing hearts and touching nations. Let eternity be the judge of the magnitude of the value of what you can and will share.
It is time to act on His commission.
He is on the road with you.He wants to walk with you in relationship
… until your heart burns with His commission and equipping…
…until His WORD comes alive in you even more for speaking into your world, into the hearts of men, women, children.
Let’s discover a greater measure of His passion and purpose as new creations that expand the kingdom…transformed transforming disciples that disciple others.
Decide today, that you are ready for Intentional-Experimental -Influential-Impact!
- Where do you begin? What can you do to take the next step?
But don’t wait for us!
It’s your commission from Jesus! It’s your life He wants to activate in broader, dynamic expressions in evangelism and discipling. Go FOR IT!