Someone recently asked me what Marketplace Evangelism was? This is my definition, but first, let me tell you what it isn’t. Marketplace Evangelism is not standing on the street corner and preaching to people in the street. It is not forcing Jesus Christ down people’s throats. Marketplace Evangelism is loving people at the job, career, or workplace; by living your life in a manner that is pleasing to God. It is espousing the love of Christ so that others will see something different in you. An example of this is going to see a co-worker or client who is hospitalized and visit and pray for them. It is opening yourself up, in faith, and only when truly led by the Holy Spirit, accept divine appointments to share your faith and how Christ has helped and changed you with those in your environment. It’s living your life in a manner, striving to be Christ incarnate, so that others may see Christ in you, because you may be the only Jesus anyone will ever see. It is making a difference in people’s lives one life at a time!
I know many people will not want to stand out in a crowd because of ridicule. I know this personally, because I have lived 59 years, being afraid to share my faith because of rejection. Being afraid because I did not want to “offend” anyone or I did not want to say the wrong thing. I know what other Christians think, because I have lived a lifetime not sharing the most wonderful gift that God has ever given to me, from His Son, Jesus Christ. That gift was forgiveness of all the terrible and sinful, dark, sins that I have ever committed or thought. That gift made me whole and changed my life. That gift is still changing my life every day. Do I still sin? Yes, I do. I am human and live in the same dark world as before. There is one exception. I have God’s forgiveness, have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of me, and have conviction when I sin, which tells me that I need to stop and ask forgiveness from the one I sinned against and to God.
A few years back, when I finally got serious with what God had been calling me to do, my life changed dramatically. It changed in a way where my eyes were opened wide to the “TRUTH.” That “TRUTH” helped me to overcome my fears, so that I could do the work that I was called to do, right here in my own town. But God wants all Christians to get serious with what He has called all of us to do. Look what it says in Matthew 28:16-20, “16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Jesus gave us something called the “Great Commandment.” According to Matthew 22:36-40, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love your neighbor as yourself. What does that mean? It means that we are to care and treat our neighbors the way we would want to be treated by doing for them when we see their time of need. Who is our neighbor? Our neighbor is everyone who we encounter. Our neighbors are our co-workers, managers, employees, customers, waiters, waitresses, dry cleaner employee, anyone in the marketplace, the vagrant on the corner, everyone.
When we understand that our Christian walk is not only how we live our life in a pleasing manner to God, but we are to also step out on faith and tell someone about that saving grace that rescued us from a burning hell, then we are fulfilling the other commandment that Christ gave to us. Look at Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Our Jerusalem is our own neighborhood. Our Samaria is our own town or city. Our Judea can be our state or nation. These places can also be in the marketplace, where we live, work, and play. Don’t you see what Christ and our heavenly Father is asking us to do?
Have you ever heard of the power of one? I will post the excerpt from “Evangelism Is” written by Dave Earley and David Wheeler.
THE POWER OF ONE
“One Samaritan woman testified to her town, and many believed in Jesus.
One man, Noah, built a boat that saved the human race.
One man, Moses, stood up to Pharaoh and delivered the Hebrews from Egypt.
One woman, Deborah, delivered Israel from the Canaanite oppression.
One man, David, defeated the Philistines when he killed their champion, Goliath.
One woman, Esther, had the courage to approach the king and see her nation spared from extermination.
One man, Peter, preached a sermon that led 3,000 to be saved.
One salesman and Sunday school teacher, Edward Kimball, led a young man named Dwight to Christ. Dwight Moody became a blazing evangelist who it is said, led one million souls to Christ in his short lifetime. Wilbur Chapman received the assurance of his salvation after talking with Moody and went on to become a noted evangelist himself. The drunken baseball player Billy Sunday was an assistant to Chapman before becoming the most famous evangelist of his day. One of the fruits of Sunday’s ministry was the forming of a group of Christian businessmen in Charlotte, North Carolina. This group brought the evangelist Mordecai Ham to Charlotte in 1934. A tall awkward youth named Billy Graham was converted during those meetings. According to his staff, as of 1993, more than 2.5 million people had “stepped forward at his crusades to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Millions of souls trace their spiritual lineage back to the influence of one man, a simple Sunday school teacher, Edward Kimball.
Someone said, “To the world you may just be one person, but to one person you may be the world.” To this we might add, to you they may seem like just one lost soul, but to God that may be a soul who can shake the whole world.” ~ Dave Earley & David Wheeler
Let me ask you one last question. Why are you not sharing your faith? You never know. You may be the only “Jesus” anyone will ever see. You may be the one who shares your faith and the love Christ has given to you to a lost person who may become the one who God will use to shake the world! When I realized this, that was the turning moment in my life where I could no longer be a bench seat player in the “World Series” of our Christian faith! I could no longer sit still. I had to do something. What will you do to help spread the love and saving grace of Jesus Christ? When I think of all the time I have wasted in life and not have done what God called me to do so long ago, I grieve and become emotional. I have realized that although I have been a bench seat Christian all my life, and the time God has given me for the remainder of my life, I am to serve Him and be the evangelist He has called me to be. What about you? When will you get off the bench and get into the game?
Dave Earley and David Wheeler, Evangelism Is: How to Share Jesus with Passion and Confidence, (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 2010) 133-134.
Joseph T. Lee, © November 10, 2017, The Lantern & Shield Times LLC