Use the phrase “reach the nations” and right off the bat you lose most of your audience. It’s like a vegetarian menu at a Brazilian steak house. There are very few in the room that want what you’re selling. Like a vegetarian diet, the church agrees that reaching the nations is probably a good idea, but embracing it is a whole other issue. So what’s the problem church, are we unconvinced, not motivated, unaware, or maybe all of these? Why do many of us remain unengaged in reaching the nations?
There are several obvious spiritual habits that if practiced regularly will strengthen, encourage and direct believers in their evangelism efforts. Regular times of prayer, bible study and church attendance are the more obvious habits. A less obvious habit is a lifestyle of evangelism, and it may have the biggest impact on our participation in reaching the nations. So what is lifestyle evangelism, and how is it connected with reaching the nations?
Lifestyle evangelism is putting Christ on display in every area of our lives, and sharing the good news as those around us respond. Often we wrongly compartmentalize our lives into the sacred and the secular, allowing us to turn on and off our witness. In reality everywhere we go and everything we do is sacred, because the Holy Spirit is in us and directing our steps. So no matter where we are, it can be a potential moment to plant, water, harvest, or disciple. John 1:14 says, “Jesus dwelt among us.” He left heaven and entered into full-time ministry among those around Him. We are called to live as He lived, and that means we dwell among the people God has placed in our lives, full-time ministry right? And like Christ we demonstrate the Father’s love to those we dwell amongst. Not a couple hours a week, or one day a week, but like Christ, for a lifetime.
Lifestyle evangelism is a daily spiritual habit that will often lead the church towards reaching the nations. Sometimes a church engages in local evangelism and it sparks a fire for global evangelism. Other times a church gets a global perspective from a mission trip, or a conference and it lights a fire for local evangelism. The point is, the two go hand in hand. If you want to be a church that reaches the nations, you need to be engaged locally. Not just with an evangelism program, although programs can be effective. But rather as a church made up of individuals who seize the daily moments in their lives, and glorify the Father by what they do and say to those they dwell amongst.