I know a word that scares many Christians. That word is evangelism – spreading the Christian Gospel by public preaching or personal witness. Knees knock, and hands sweat at the thought of sharing the Gospel with others. So often, we tell ourselves that we are not qualified for such a task or that it should only be done by “professionals.” Even God’s command in Matthew 28:19 does not convince us of our responsibility for spreading God’s word. But, God used a mission trip to show me how I could use evangelism without words. Now, I want to share this story to encourage fearful hearts.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
Evangelism Without Words
My first mission trip went to Haiti in 1997, and other than the COVID years, I try to go on one every year. In 2003, the mission trip took my family to Salta, Argentina, for a construction project. We built a daycare center at a local church in an impoverished area. I enjoyed this type of mission work because I could serve God without sharing the Good News of Christ. Because I, too, experienced fear and trepidation when sharing about my faith.Evangelism without Words – How we live our lives is a testimony to our faith. People without faith watch us to see how we handle the stresses of life. Our actions show them the authenticity of our faith. Click To Tweet
Like most construction projects, the work started early, mainly to beat the heat. Even so, the daily hard labor wore us out. The trip to the church took about 30 minutes, so we left the motel each morning around 7 AM. The same four taxis picked us up each morning and brought us back each evening. We just wanted to rest after long days of backs bent in labor. Because of the exhaustion, we rode in silence in the taxis.
Silence can be Golden.
Finally, the last day to work on the construction arrived. Tears flowed as we bid farewell to the other workers. As we returned to the motel, our taxi driver pulled me aside. I grabbed one of our interrupters to translate for me. What occurred next still fills my heart with joy.
The only words I ever spoke to this driver were hello and good night. But, he watched our team each day. And now, he commented, “I am not sure what you have in your life, but I want to learn more about it.” He wanted to know what filled our hearts with joy and why we would travel so far to help such needy people. I think my mouth probably dropped open at this point. I explained a little about my faith. Then we connected him with our host to continue the conversation in his native tongue.
Silent Evangelism Lessons
The seeds of faith were sown without a spoken word—evangelism without words. I learned several important lessons from this event:
- How we live our lives is a testimony to our faith. People without faith watch us to see how we handle the stresses of life. Our actions show them the authenticity of our faith.
- I learned that doing good works for Christ can and will open the door to sharing the Gospel.
- My only job in evangelism is to plant the seeds of the Gospel, as Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 3:6-9:
“6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 8 He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. 9 For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.”
Encouragement to use Evangelism without Words
There is no doubt that our Bible instructs us of our role in spreading the seeds of faith. But, have no fear; God is with us in the task. He gives us the strength and courage to do so, and if necessary, He will also give us the words to share. I used to fear sharing my faith, but after the events in Argentina, I learned that my life is also my testimony. Adding words then became much more manageable. God gives us each a unique story to share, and your narrative might be all it takes for someone to turn to Christ. Later, I learned that the man from Argentina started going to church to discover more about faith.Evangelism without Words – God is with us in the task. He gives us the strength and courage to do so, and if necessary, He will also give us the words to share. Click To Tweet
A Final Word
I leave you with the words of Mark 16 to remind you of the Great Commission:
“14 Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. 15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel to the whole creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that as the seeds of the Gospel are scattered and planted today, that they will land on good soil. Make them bear fruit, Father. Help me understand my role in Your plans and give me the words to say when necessary. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.
Do you need prayer? I would love to pray for you. Submit your prayer request on my website at https://yvonne-morgan.com/submit-your-prayer-request-here/
Grace and Peace to you,
Yvonne M. Morgan is a Christian #author, #blogger, and #speaker. #BibleGatewayPartner
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
16 thoughts on “Evangelism without Words”
I love this message! We can be evangelists thorough our words, actions, and our silence. Sometimes listening is the best way.
Yes, it is. We try to over complicate the process by trying to being elegant and wordy. God gave us stories to share that can make a difference too. Thanks Melissa.
Great piece. Just because we are uncomfortable with or downright frightened of something doesn’t mean we get a pass not to do it. We are all called to spread the Gospel across the earth. It can be done in any number of ways. What matters is that if we believe, we share that with others so they can, too.
Amen Jessica. The more we do it, the easier it will get too especially if we are sharing our stories. God bless.
I wrestle with this a bit, but not for the reason you might think.
The idea of “Preach the gospel at all times and if necessary, use words,” contradicts Bible verses such as Mark 16:15, Romans 10:14, and 1 Corinthians 15:2-4 that clearly say words ARE necessary. Yes, we’re to live out the fruit of the Spirit along with the grace and the forgiveness we have received. And yes, living out our faith is important in earning the right to speak into the lives of others, as you saw with the driver. Still, as opportunities present themselves (also as in what happened to you with the driver), we are called to clearly speak the gospel, which you did indeed, do.
Perhaps like most things in life, the answer is not either or, but both! Sadly, all too often Christians pick one camp or the other: living out kindness & love without ever mentioning the gospel OR sharing the gospel verbally without an ounce of love. As Theodore Roosevelt once said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Thank you for sharing your experience in doing both: living out the Gospel AND speaking it!
Thanks Ava. I believe we do need both. The idea I wanted to convey is that you can start without words and as you become comfortable then words will be needed. I was trying to help take the fear out of the commandment. Thanks for added your thoughts. God bless.
Those final words explain the reason we live a life of obedience that others come to realize is a reflection of Jesus. We also share the Gospel verbally when asked and when God leads. Our lives and our words are our witness.
People are drawn to a life of faith by our example. Then the words of our stories can move their hearts to reach for God. Thanks Melinda and God bless.
Yvonne, I loved this post! Yes, sharing the gospel intimidates me, even after walking with Jesus for most of my life. I know. It’s sad. But, I believe we can reflect Jesus’ presence in our lives, even when we don’t know others are watching. How beautiful that the Lord prompted the taxi driver to talk with you that day. God is faithful to encourage us in unexpected ways, isn’t He? Thanks for the encouragement.
Thanks Jeanne. Many of us are scared by it, including me. I love it when we try and God encourages us to keep going. God bless.
Amen ma’am. Let our actions speak the truths of God. Such an important reminder that it is often not what we say, but what we do that people take the most note of.
💯 truth. I pray for my life to reflect my Father always. Thanks JD
Thank you, Yvonne. I pray to live out the Bible and gospel in my life, but also bring good news to all who will hear about Jesus. I loved your story about the taxi driver, what a powerful way to touch someone’s life and then present the gospel.
Thanks Karen. It was amazing to watch God work on the taxi driver. God bless.
Was is Saint Francis of Assisi who told us to preach the Gospel constantly and use words if necessary? If we are doing what we can to build relationships with others, to have a ministry to them, the words will come. Perhaps some are called to be street preachers. But Christ told us to make disciples, and that requires relationship. You built that with the taxi driver without words and across a language barrier. He saw what you were doing. He witnessed, perhaps, a peace in your spirit that he could not gain on his own. We are the vessels. Holy Spirit does the work. Great post.
Thanks Nancy. God is so good. It was such an amazing experience. God bless.