Evangelism is an essential part of being a Christian. It's as important as recruitment is to the military. Without new recruits, the Army couldn't continue it's operations. While God would not simply stop existing because people stopped believing in Him (He isn't like Santa), one of Jesus' last commands was to recruit soldiers for God's army from all nations.
Last summer, my youth ministry-to-be traveled to New Smyrna Beach for a mission trip. It was our summer camp, and the theme was extemporaneous evangelism. We set out in small groups to evangelize to anyone we saw on the beach. I'll never forget walking up to those people and asking them if I could talk to them about Jesus. For a fourteen-year-old, it is heart-pounding to walk to a middle-aged lady and ask her on the spot about her spiritual beliefs. I had two friends with me for this particular conversation, but they were too timid to speak, so I felt as if the pressure was entirely on me to make sure this lady knew Jesus. The adrenaline pumping through my body, blood flushing my cheeks and ears, I stuttered, "Ma'am, may I ask you a few questions about your spiritual beliefs?" Luckily, she replied, "Of course, son, what is it?" I stumbled through my partially memorized Way of the Master evangelism technique. Fortunately for me, this particular lady claimed to already be a Christian and to have followed Jesus for years. She helped calm my fears by adding, "I'm so proud of you kids for doing this! I wish I was brave enough to do this sometimes."
My youth pastor repeatedly made this conversation an example to us. He argued against this lady's belief system, that we should always look for opportunities to recruit soldiers for God's army. Unfortunately, the American church has become too much like the recruitment staff of the military. Maybe you've seen the military's adds on TV. Perhaps you've even seen their billboards beside the highway, or their adds in the local paper. There's a chance you've even noticed their stores in shopping centers. Those stores are their local recruitment centers; they're where you go to apply to defend our great country's freedom. Much to my dismay, the American church has adopted this system of recruitment. We'll advertise on TV, beside the highway, and in the paper, and we'll even go as far as to be at our church building. But we rarely go any further. We sit in our churches and wait for the world to come to us. But why would the world come to church if they think the church is a scam, filled with hypocrytes, a bunch of disillusioned dreamers, or no different than they are?
If we think that we can convert to the military's form of recruitment and obey Jesus at the same time, we are miserably incorrect. We can only help people if we go out and help them! Take action and tell the world that Jesus lives!