Evangelism For Women

by Jenny Reed

NOT ENOUGH WOMEN WHO are Christians are teaching the lost. We hide behind excuses: not enough knowledge, too many responsibilities at home, not enough time. We understand our responsibility to share the good news, yet months and years go by without any real effort on our part.

The problem really is not other responsibilities; the problem is not putting God first. We live in a busy age, and the only way you'll have time for study and teaching is to let God be the judge of your priorities. If you do that, it will mean getting up earlier, cutting out TV or magazines, trading babysitting time with a sister, or some kind of sacrifice on your part.

The first step is time with God every day. Even 15 minutes of prayer and study daily will help you increase your knowledge of God and your love for Him and others. Be sure you make personal application of what you read. Intellectual knowledge is useful, but what you need is "the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord" (Colossians 1:9-10). Pray for wisdom, and pray that God will help you learn to spread the good news.

Next, you need to take a good hard look at your life. Are you a light in the world, drawing others to God by your life? What you believe is important, but are you living it? How well do you light up the world with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? How about modesty, hospitality, and tongue-control? These are not just good works - they are beacons to a dark world that say, "Here's a women of God?" Does your life exhibit the riches and joys of being a Christian, or are you always worried and complaining? Do you handle frustrations with patience, or do you get irritated and speak sharply? Do you deal with disagreements with a proud, "I'm right, you're wrong" attitude, or do you speak the truth with love, gentleness and patience? What draws others to Christ is not the arguments we make in favor of Christianity, or the pride we express about our loyalty to the truth, but rather the happiness, joy, and peace we radiate in our lives. Living this kind of life will bring you opportunities to teach. Be sure you use the opportunities to give the glory to God, to talk about eternal values, and to encourage others to study God's word.

You need more opportunities? Pray! Less than a year ago my sister-in-law decided to do something about her responsibility to teach the lost. The first thing I heard, she was teaching three non-Christians a week. I was eager to know how she'd managed this (her children were, 3, 5 and 7), what she'd said, how she'd found the courage, etc. When I asked her, her answer was simply "through prayer." She had begun purposefully to pray for opportunities, for the courage to use them, and for wisdom and strength to fit them into her busy life. I've seen unfolded laundry piled up on her dining room table, but one of the three women she was studying with is now a Christian, and the woman's husband is now involved in a study with my brother. If you're willing, God will give you the opportunities.

Learn to see with your spiritual eyes. As Paul reminds us, "from now on we recognize no man according to the flesh" (2 Corinthians 5:16). Every person you come in contact with is a soul that needs what you have to offer. I'm studying now with the mother of a girl in my Scout troop; my sister-in-law is studying with her child's teacher; another sister in Christ had a Bible study with a woman she met on her morning walks. Open up your eyes and see! Learn to be friendly and outgoing (if you're naturally reserved like I am, you'll have to work at this) and listen to people. As you get to know them you will find opportunities to talk about spiritual values, or how following God's will helped you deal with a similar situation. You may have to talk to ten souls before you find one who's interested, but don't give up. "Conduct yourself with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of every opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person" (Colossians 4:5,6).

Remember that the particular "method" you use won't be nearly as important as your love for God and for that soul you're studying with. I prefer to just read the Bible together, making a few comments and trying to answer any questions that arise. Let the word speak for itself. You might start with one of the Gospels, then go to Acts, but let the individual's need be your guide.

Finally, quit thinking about it and do it. Paul said, "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13) - and so can you. Start today spending time with God daily. Work on your patience, friendliness, tongue-control or whatever your weak areas are. Talk to people - everyone - about spiritual things. And pray, pray, pray. Pray for the boldness to use opportunities and the ability to recognize them. Pray for boldness to use the opportunities you are given and the wisdom to know what to say and how to teach. Pray for the women you teach that they might open up their hearts to God's word. Pray that you'll be able to be strong through the frustrations and disappointments that will come. And be prepared to rejoice like you've never rejoiced before when someone you've taught becomes your sister! I'll be praying for you.

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