Why Evangelism Is Needed for the Jesus-Follower
‘We Are Always in Need of Evangelism’
by Caesar Kalinowski
Discipleship is the process of moving from unbelief to belief about what is true of Jesus and the Gospel, in absolutely every area of life.
Another word for faith is “belief,” and the Bible teaches us that all sin comes from not believing what is true about God. (Romans 14:23)
For many of us, we see evangelism as what happens to bring us (or others) to the point of belief. In contrast, we usually understand discipleship as the process for growth in our Christian life. Evangelism “gets us in the door,” and then the work of discipleship begins.
But let’s look a little closer.
The word evangel means “gospel.” And to evangelize means “to preach the Gospel.” In the same way that we come to put our faith in Jesus by hearing and experiencing the Gospel, we also continue to grow and mature by the light of that same Gospel. This is a lifelong process.
We are always in need of evangelism. In fact, discipleship can be simply understood as the ongoing “evangelizing” of our hearts.
Jesus described it this way. He said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.”
Clear and simple.
And then He went on to say something really interesting: “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32).
In Jesus’ view, the whole thing starts with learning to follow Him–becoming His disciples. As we enter that process, and as a result of it, our lives are transformed and we are set free from guilt, shame and the weight of sin. This is what discipleship is all about! According to Jesus, we are discipled to the truth that sets us free–in every area of our lives.
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught … ” (Colossians 2:6,7).
We see that whether we are talking about our own hearts or the hearts and lives of our friends and neighbors, the process of discipleship (evangelism in its truest sense) can begin long before a confession of faith and continue throughout our entire lives. This is what it means to say that the Gospel saves and sanctifies us.
Caear Kalinowski is a church planter, missional strategist and one of founding leaders of Soma Communities. He currently serves as the Director of the GCM Collective and is part of the team at Missio. He is a spiritual entrepreneur and an avid storyteller. His background includes communications for Fortune 500 companies, media production, working with youth, and extensive travel in international missions. He has worked in over 17 countries around the world including Sierra Leone, Sudan, Nigeria, Burma, India, Latvia, Romania and the Czech Republic. He worked as a record producer for 12 years before becoming a full-time missionary (aren’t we all…?). He owned and operated several businesses in and around the Chicagoland area, then pastored at a mega-church before moving to Tacoma, Washington in 2004 to help launch Soma. His free eBook, Be the Church, with co-author Seth McBee recently released through the Exponential Resource Series.