As I travel the country, I am struck by the startling paucity of the gift of evangelist (see Ephesians 4:11). Evangelists are recruiters. They are storytellers, not because they are raconteurs (although evangelists are frequently great at spinning tales), but because they are stirred by the story of God and want to share it in a broken world.
As part of the dream of raising up evangelists, I facilitated a learning community in Chicago with my friend Brent Trask and a group of Canadian leaders. We spent a day with evangelists Luis and Andrew Palau. We worshipped with other leaders at the Billy Graham Center-sponsored Amplify event.
We learned, laughed, prayed, shared and pressed into the calling of an evangelist. We were stirred afresh to show the love of Jesus.
And we had gospel conversations with people.
On our final night, Brent treated us all to a baseball game. After three soggy hours of rain delay, the first pitch was thrown. For our nocturnal return to our accommodations, four of us piled into an Uber. When driver Javier discovered why we were in town, he began to share.
He spoke of his difficult boyhood. He spilled his present pain and brokenness. Brazilian Canadian evangelist Filipe began to share the gospel in Spanish. Javier responded in Spanish, then English. Ryan, a C2C Network church planter, tag-teamed.
Javier turned off the radio. He listened intently about the One who came to bind up the broken-hearted.
Now at our destination, Ryan seamlessly explained how Jesus came to live the life Javier could not possibly live, and died the death Javier deserved to die. He explained the significance of Jesus’ sacrifice, the truth and power of the resurrection, and God’s generous offer of forgiveness and new life.
Ryan then asked Javier if he would like to receive Jesus into his life. Javier said yes and Ryan prayed with him.
I thank God for front row seats to a Ryan-Felipe gospel tag team!
Many people are more ready to hear the gospel than we imagine. Over the week, our little team also prayed for a physical healing, and led a cab driver and another Uber driver to Jesus.
We can all be good news people. May God give us grace to listen well, step up and pray, and speak out in Jesus’ name.
[Bill Hogg is national missiologist with the C2C Network.