In the latest 9Marks Journal, Brian Parks talks about the benefits of evangelism in discipleship. His article, “Six Benefits of Evangelism for Discipleship,” addresses the need for every follower of Christ to be sharing the gospel.
“But the New Testament paints a picture in which every disciple of Christ is normally and naturally involved in evangelism as much as in Bible study, prayer, and corporate worship. From the brand new Christian to the wizened old saint, sharing the gospel is necessary and integral to a growing life in Christ.
Many of us have heard and even preached sermons that rightly focused on the Great Commission’s theme of “make disciples” (Matt. 28:18-20). And we’ve taught those around us that they should be disciple-makers themselves. But we also need to be clear that “making disciples” necessarily involves helping people who are not yet disciples to become disciples—that is, evangelism. Jesus modeled it (Mk. 1:14, 15; Matt. 9:35) and trained his apostles to do the same (Mk. 6:7-13; Lk. 10:1-12). Only a few days later Jesus said that they would be his “witnesses…to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
Part of the apostles’ teaching that the newly Spirit-filled church devoted themselves to (Acts 2:42) must have been the normal and regular sharing of the gospel with family, friends, and strangers. From those very first weeks and months after the Pentecost, people were being saved every day (Acts 2:47). Evangelism was immediately a part of their new life of discipleship to the risen Lord Jesus.”