Evangelism Takes Intentionality


Josh Howland
Every Believer a Witness

When it comes to evangelism, individuals don’t have a consistent number of daily opportunities. I work with students and in our group, we have those who are homeschooled and others who attend Christian and public schools. Students in classroom settings have several daily chances to share their experiences with Christ. In contrast, homeschooled students may have as few as ten opportunities in a week.

The same is true of people in the workplace. In our culture, you may work in an office, on a job site, or from home. If you work from home, your opportunities to share the gospel are limited compared to those working in an office. As a pastor, my days in the office are surrounded by other believers. So even in a workplace, your opportunities may be limited.

That’s why it’s crucial to actively and prayerfully seize every opportunity that comes your way.

Intentionality is the key to evangelism.

Jesus modeled this key in John 4. He had been ministering in Judea and was headed back to Galilee. In verse 4 scripture tells us, “And he had to pass through Samaria.” This is very odd for a Jewish man to travel through the area of Samaria because Jews and Samaritans hated each other. Jewish people would travel out of their way, adding miles and days to their journey, just to avoid Samaria.

But Jesus intentionally traveled through enemy territory to seize one, single opportunity. He knew there were people in this town that needed to know him. He knew there would be an opportunity at the well outside the city to share with a woman that the Messiah had arrived, and he had come to give her “living water.”

In Luke 19 we see Jesus entering Jericho. Look at verses 2-10,

And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Jesus didn’t see a thief who had betrayed his fellow countrymen, he saw a man drawn by God to the truth, curious if Jesus could be the long-awaited Messiah. Jesus intentionally stopped under the tree and invited himself to Zacchaeus’s house. He intentionally shared his time with Zacchaeus, and because of this intentional interaction, Zacchaeus received salvation through his faith in Jesus.

We must model our approach after the example of Jesus. Jesus prayed and surrendered every moment to God the Father. He walked in obedience, looking for places where God was at work. He intentionally put himself in situations to join his Father in His work. It wasn’t always preaching a great sermon. Most often it was sharing moments of his life with those who were hurting, lonely, sick, and searching.

This is all that God asks of us — to join Him where He is already at work. It requires intentionally surrendering each moment to God and allowing Him to guide us. It also involves intentionally sharing our time and our stories with those whom God leads us to.

The number of opportunities doesn’t matter. What matters to God is our intentional willingness to obey His command to share the gospel.

Will you be intentional with the opportunities you’re given today?