Evangelism is part of our Wesleyan heritage. It’s essential for The United Methodist Church to continue believing in its high tradition, which functions primarily in the service of character formation, faith development, missional engagement, and evangelization. It is crucial to living these core beliefs and even practice them. Our priorities as Methodists are to witness for Christ and invite people into a relationship with God.
Today in the 21st century, congregations are making a mistake in thinking that evangelism is a program of the church. Faith-sharing is not a program of the church. To the contrary, the church, when it is authentic, is a ministry of faith-sharing.
The role of evangelism is to tell the good news of God’s kingdom come in Jesus Christ. Therefore, we do not “evangelize” anyone other than Christ. Evangelism is heralding Christ. We may “evangelize” among a group of people, but we do not evangelize any one person. In other words, we do not convert anyone. Conversion is the work of the Holy Spirit. Our task is to tell the good news story.
Our God is a seeking, saving and sending God. “Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” (John 20:21, NRSV)