What does it take to be an effective soul winner? Let’s go to the Master of souls to find out.
Immediately before He ascended into heaven, Jesus gave the disciples what is known as The Great Commission: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20).
There is one main command in this passage: make disciples. And what is a disciple? A disciple is a student, a learner, a follower. So the goal of evangelism is to present the gospel in such a way that the unsaved become disciples, or students, of the Lord Jesus Christ.
A person can only become a student if he/she is taught. This is foundational to our understanding of Biblical evangelism. If we are not teaching, we are not evangelizing. In the King James Version, the verb “make disciples” was translated as “teach”. Charles Spurgeon said that one of the first activities of soul winning is “instructing a man that he may know the truth of God. Teaching begins the work (of soul winning), and crowns it, too.”
Jesus sets the standard for us in this regard, does He not? He was repeatedly called “Rabbi” or “Teacher.” Matthew summarizes His ministry as one of teaching, preaching and healing; note that teaching is listed first (Matthew 4:23). The so-called “Sermon on the Mount” is introduced not as a sermon but as a time of teaching (Matthew 5:2). And when the sermon was over, the crowds were amazed at the teaching of Jesus, “because He taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law (Matthew 7:28-29).
Who is Jesus? He is both God and Man, both the Son of God and the Son of Man. He is the Bread of Life, the Light of the World, the Resurrection and the Life. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is our Savior, Lord, King and Judge.
But let’s not forget that He is also the greatest Teacher to ever walk on this planet.
So as we contemplate the incredible privilege of evangelism, we must first focus on the mandate of teaching. The apostles understood that their primary responsibility was one of communicating the truths of the gospel. After 3,000 people were saved on the day of Pentecost, the new believers “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching” (Acts 2:42). This was the pattern for months and years to come: “Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ” (Acts 5:42).
May God help us to do the same.