Pastors need to lead their churches in evangelism through example, not simply exhortation. I remind church leaders that people are often more apt to do what you do than what you say. If you want people evangelizing, they need to see you doing it—not simply talking about it. Speaking to Timothy as a pastor-teacher, Paul said, “Do the work of an evangelist.” (II Timothy 4:5) Unless they see your obedience to Him in evangelism, they are not likely to give Him theirs.
A church leader once asked me a very good question. “Will it come across as arrogant if I give them examples of how I have shared the gospel with a non-Christian? Isn’t there a danger of me coming across as though I am saying, ‘I am better than you because I do it, but you don’t’?”
First of all, regardless of how it may come across, they need to know that you are doing it, not just talking about it. Furthermore, it will not come across as arrogant, if you do it in the right way! The right way involves attitude and excitement.
Your attitude needs to be, “This was such an undeserved privilege.” When you express yourself through an attitude of gratitude, a humility comes across that makes your example very commendable. You are not boasting in yourself, but in the Lord and the opportunity He gave you. The way you share the experience ought to convey how dependent you were on Him to help you know what to say and how to say it.
Excitement is motivating. When you share your opportunities in evangelism with genuine enthusiasm, that communicates with people big time. The listener is not so much focused on you as they are on your excitement about the Lord and the lost. You can call it passion, or you can call it zeal. What you call it is not the issue. The point is that you feel that—although witnessing has its fearful moments—it is exhilarating to be used of the Lord in the lives of the lost.
Don’t just talk about the lost; talk to the lost. Then tell others of your experiences. When you do it with the right attitude and an excitement, it motivates others to do the same.