Many Christians love the idea of evangelism, just as long as it's not them doing it.
I am a fan of evangelism, and should be doing more of it. Here are four things that we can learn about evangelism from Acts 2 that will give us hope and encourage us to evangelize.
1. Evangelism is not dependent on your speaking ability
Peter was used by God in this moment to speak the Gospel of Christ, but remember that it was the same Peter who spoke against even knowing Christ just 40 days earlier! Peter's sermon in Acts 2 was great, but an even greater work preceded it: the gift of the Holy Spirit.
When the time comes for us to speak, we do not have to depend on our own strength because the Spirit is already at work in us. There is no pressure on us to "convert" someone because in our own strength we cannot. But Spirit can. And the Spirit will.
2. We will face hecklers as well as inquirers
Some in the crowd thought that the disciples were drunk and mocked them for speaking in other languages. Others were amazed and inquired about what was happening. Peter addressed both groups, dismissing the mockers with logic and elaborating in great detail to those who inquired about Christ. We will face hecklers for our faith. It is important to address them graciously, but we must remember to focus on those who inquire. Go deep.
3. We must take one bold step in our relationships
Gone are the days of handing out gospel tracks on the street. Instead we have pushed towards being "relational" with our non-believing friends and family. Relational evangelism is great, but it is too often reduced to simply building friendships. In order for the Gospel to be proclaimed to your friends and loved ones, you must take one bold step, a risk, in your current relationships. Let them know you're a Christian. Offer to pray for them. Invite them to a Bible study. Be loving. Be bold.
4. Evangelism begins at home
Acts 2 comes to a close with a beautiful image of the early church.
"And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved."
The joy-filled, compassionate, prayerful fellowship of believers was the evangelistic tool that God used to bring people to Himself. Evangelism is often thought to only occur outside the church, but we must remember that our evangelistic witness begins at home, in our local church communities. It makes sense right? No one wants to be a part of a shallow, judging, unforgiving club of hypocrites.
Love one another. Especially your brothers and sisters. It's the first step of evangelism.