I define the gift of evangelism as “the special ability to communicate the gospel to sinners and equip believers to evangelize.” Several years ago, a few of us with this gift put our minds together and asked, “What characterizes people with that gift?”
We came up with the following six things. (Note: Keep in mind that the gift of evangelism is certainly not gender-related. Men and women alike can be gifted in evangelism.)
- An ability to communicate with non-Christians. Because he has the ability to understand what non-Christians are thinking and asking, he says things in a way that uniquely communicates to them.
- Enjoys conversations with unbelievers. He often gravitates toward activities that involve non-Christians. In his conversations with them, he demonstrates a listening ear and a caring heart.
- Motivates believers. The gift of evangelism brings with it an excitement and enthusiasm that often has a way of motivating believers. Many believers have felt called to a higher level of service as a result of hearing an evangelist.
- May be able to teach. I use the word “may” because it’s definite that he can equip, but a person doesn’t necessarily have to teach in order to equip. He can do it by example. But along with that, there is sometimes a special ability to teach believers how to do evangelism, as well.
- A desperate need to preach the gospel. A person gifted in evangelism feels frustrated if he’s not around non-Christians. He has a desperate need to tell others about Jesus! I caution churches who add an evangelist to their staff not to keep him so tied up with Christians that he has no time to be around the unsaved. Otherwise, they will have a frustrated staff member.
- A special ability in reaping. Because he pays attention to what non-Christians are thinking and asking, he knows how to communicate in ways that bring unbelievers to a point of decision.
Please notice in the above characteristics that I did not mention he is without fear. Even though a person may have a gift in evangelism, he still has times when he’s afraid. In fact, I think there are some people that overlook the fact that they have gift in evangelism because they think if they have it, they would never be afraid to share Christ. That’s simply not true.