Evangelism and discipleship were never meant to be separated.
“But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long-suffering, love, perseverance.”
—2 Timothy 3:10
One of the greatest compliments a nonbeliever can pay a believer is to say, “What is it about you that makes you different? You have this peace. You have this joy.”
It also opens the door for conversation. If you want to win some, then you need to be winsome. Believers are to build bridges. A Christian sometimes sows a seed, sometimes waters a seed and sometimes reaps where others have sown and watered.
Don’t ever try to harvest a seed that is not ready to be harvested. But don’t miss the opportunity to harvest when it is harvest time. You need to pray for wisdom to know when it is seed-sowing time, when it’s time to be a witness by watering that seed and when it’s time to harvest what has been sown.
Discipleship, simplified, is to lead others to Christ, establish them spiritually and then do it again and again and again. Basically it is evangelize, disciple, stabilize and repeat. But somewhere along the way we have sort of separated evangelism from discipleship. However, they are one in the same.
We are called not just to invite people to Christ but to take new believers under our wing and help them get on their feet spiritually. It would be like delivering a baby and then giving that little newborn some diapers and saying, “Okay, God bless you. It is a tough world out there, but good luck.” No, little babies need to be nurtured and loved. And new believers need to be nurtured and loved as well.
New believers also need an example. They need to see what a Christian looks like. They need to see what a Christian does. Some things are taught, and some things are caught. New believers need to see a Christian like you.
This article originally appeared on Harvest.org.