The great commission of Jesus demands our response. It takes more than having an idea; it takes making an action for the cause of Christ. While many are happy with big events and talking about what we should do; the rubber meets the road when being an evangelist demands your lifestyle!
As Ralph M. Riggs says in So I Send You, ” Every Christian should be prepared through training and experience to turn casual encounters into soul winning opportunity.”((Ralph Riggs, So I Send You, p.54))
An evangelist will travel anywhere, preach to anyone, at any cost for people to be saved, healed and deliver. It is not about what we want but taking the gospel to the ends of the earth as the Lord commanded.
The history of the Church is the history of the evangelist. Those who preached the gospel with miracles confirming the message. Zinzendorf, Wesley, Woodworth-Etter, Wigglesworth, Coe and Allen all point to one truth: When Jesus is preached, miracles happen.
The price for evangelism has not changed in the last century. The methods have changed to a degree but the price has not. The cost for soul winning never goes on sale and there is not a bluelight special for it. It will cause you your life as you know it.
The Testimony of the Moravians
They lived with a motto of “May the Lamb be worthy of His suffering!” With that vision, a group of refugees became mighty evangelists to the world. Within five months of revival starting, they had missionaries going to the ends of the earth.
After a year of revival, they had 26 missionaries and when Count Zinzendorf died(1760), there was over 220 missionaries. Many of them would sell themselves in slavery for the gospel to be preached.
Every move of God is missional in focus or it is not a move of the Spirit. These missionaries knew the price and they paid it. When a group of them arrived in Jamaica, they had a third of the island baptized within a matter of months. This is just one example of many.
One of the more famous conversions that they had was on a boat from America to Europe when they met a young and confused John Wesley. After meeting the Moravians, he said that there was a “strange warming of the heart.” it was at this point that he started the road to true conversion.
David Zeisberger was a missionary to the Indians in the United States and saw such a move of the Spirit that leaders had him thrown in prison for preaching the gospel. When the gospel destroys wicked business, revival has come!
Everywhere they went; they didn’t teach theology, doctrines, or biblical theory. They only proclaimed the gospel of Jesus Christ which was the preaching of the Cross. The message of the Cross was the “diamond of the golden ring of the Gospel” to them.
For more about the missionary calling of the Moravians, Check out The Moravian Principle: The secret of revival by Dr. Brad Allen.
The evangelism of Azusa Street Revival
In the quake of the revival in downtown Los Angeles, many believed they had encountered the very finger of God when they were baptized in the Spirit and as an overflow of that, they wanted to share the gospel with sinners around them.
By the end of 1906, the evangelism work of the believers had caused the formation of 12 new churches in Los Angeles that preached similar messages to that of the revival and William Seymour.
One of these were People’s Church in Boyle Heights. The leader, a woman named Bell White reached the street kids of Los Angeles as well as any one that was down and out. She, at one point, had a tent revival in a poor area about a half a mile from People’s Church and within a few months, had 125 people gathered.
By the time, the revival was a year old, there was missions all over what we know as Metro Los Angeles. It was only a matter of time people gave us everything to preach the Pentecostal message in North Carolina, Tennessee, Kansas, and Ohio to name a few places. Everything they had known was surrendered to the Lord for the gospel to be preached.
If you are interested in more about the missiological views of the Azusa Street Revival, I recommend The Azusa Street Mission & Revival: The Birth of the Pentecostal Movement by Cecil Roebuck as a great starting point.
What is the price for evangelism?
It is more than possibly leaving your family, friends and job to preach in another city or country. It can be giving everything you owe away and preaching the gospel on a one way ticket never to return to your hometown.
In some cases, it may cost you your very life to preach the gospel with power.